The Heart of Human Egalitarianism: A Phenomenology
Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D Diplomate In Clinical Psychology, A.B.P.P.
Washington Center for Consciousness Studies and The Washington Center for Phenomenological and Existential Psychotherapy Studies
“All People are Created Equal” Thomas Jefferson
At the Heart of Human Egalitarianism is our profound and innate human experience of Equality Consciousness. The experience of Equality consciousness and the corresponding experience of Equal Vision is the true ontological source of Human Egalitarianism.
The experience of Equality Consciousness reflects our direct non conceptual knowing of human Being-ness. We can experience Equality Consciousness and Equal vision within our experience of our own embodied Being-ness, as well as the embodied Being-ness of another Person. Equality consciousness and our corresponding Equal vision is our capacity to experience the Being of another human person and the Being of our own Being, as Beingness itself. In our experiencing of the Being of another human being and in experiencing the Being of our own being, we can experience directly the Purity of Being of human beings. In experiencing the Purity of the Being of human Beings, we directly experience the Purity of Being itself. This experience of the Purity of Being is the ontological foundation of Human egalitarianism.
We are Ontic-Ontological Beings. The Ontic dimension is our psychological experience of each other. The Ontological dimension is our direct experience of our Being and the Being of others. Human egalitarianism is not simply a psychological experience, but ultimately the validity and power of Egalitarianism reflects the ontological nature of human beings.
Purity of Being
This experience of the Purity of Being is the profound experience of our direct knowing of the luminous openness of the Being of human beings. This experience of the Purity of human Beingness is the natural source of Equality Consciousness, and is the natural source of Equal Vision and is the natural source of Human Egalitarianism. In experiencing the Being of our own being and the Being of other human beings, we will experience the Purity of Being. This Purity is the openness of Being, the spaciousness and luminosity of Being.
In this paper, we will phenomenologically explore the existential and natural source of Human Egalitarianism. In the history of philosophy this form of direct knowing of Being was called Connatural Knowledge by the 20th century French philosopher Jacques Maritain. Maritain considered the direct knowing or Connatural Knowledge as a form of direct intuition of the Being of our human being. For Jacques Maritain this connatural knowledge is our natural direct knowingness of the Being of our own Being and the Being of the World. For Maritain, philosophical understanding of connatural knowledge was within Medieval Thomistic philosophy and Theology. Maritain was also greatly influenced by Henri Berson teachings of direct intuition of Being. In Continental Phenomenology the work of Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty focuses on human beings direct knowing of the Being of their own Being, and the Being of the world.
The Direct Knowing of Being-ness reflects Our Knowing as Awareness
In the Existential Dzogchen tradition as well as in Continental Phenomenological understanding, human beings have two ways of knowing. This understanding that human beings have two ways of knowing is also found in Tantric Kashmir Shaivism as well as contemporary psychoanalysis, as a articulated by Donald Winnicott and his understanding of Transitional Space and Knowingness.
Our mind knows form and our awareness knows Being. This direct knowing of the Being of a Person is called Gnosis or Jnana in the Dzogchen Tibetan tradition, as well in other eastern philosophical traditions. This direct knowing of Being is the power of our human awareness. Gnosis or Jnana are the metaphors of our awareness’s direct knowing of the Being of a human beings as well as the Being of the world. This Jnana or Gnosis is the direct non conceptual knowing of our awareness of the Being of the world. Awareness directly knows and intuitively perceives the Being-ness of Being in beings. Within the knowing of our awareness, we are all capable of experiencing the felt sense of the presence of our embodied sense of Being within our self. Corresponding, we are also able to experience the embodied sense of the presence of Being within the person of each another.
We also all have the capacity to experience the felt sense of the Being of the world. Because we can directly experience the Being of a being, including the Being of the world, we can directly experience Being in and of itself. This is amazing and this is the natural unfolding of self- liberation ‘just as we are’. Our awareness directly knowing Being is self- liberating. Our sense of human Presence is our ongoing experience of Presence of Being in its radiance as personhood.
Mystification of Direct Knowing, Mystification of Gnosis and Jnana
Many spiritual and religious traditions of both the east and west mystify our natural and direct experience of knowing the Embodiment of Being of the Person. This direct knowing of the Being of beings is often presented as a highly merited and highly earned spiritual attainment that is considered rare. These various religions think that person who has this natural knowingness of Being as a human being must be a spiritual adept for this exceptional experience to be accomplished. This understanding is a falsification of the natural power of our ordinary experience of our awareness’s direct knowing of Being. Our human knowingness of natural awareness naturally knows the oneness of Being and the Purity of Being.
Human Beings: Two Ways of Knowing
Human beings have two ways of knowing. The natural knowing of our awareness knows Being and the natural knowing of our mind knows form. Our mind knows all kinds of forms from subtle to gross. Our mind knows things and beings. Our mind knows faces, hands and bodies. Our mind knows difference and our mind knows dualistically. Our mind knows the polarities of experience such as good and evil, right and wrong, better and best, and even truth and falsity. Our mind knows difference and our mind knows dualistically. Our mind lives in dualism and within differences. Our mind survives through judgmental-ness. Our mind knows through thoughts and concepts. Our mind knows through affects and feelings. Our mind knows sensation and memory and our mind knows through imaginal fantasy. Our mind knows form. Our mind does not know Being. Our mind can think about Being and can reflect on Being, but cannot directly experience Being, or the Being-ness of a being. Our mind only knows form.
Our awareness knows Being and our awareness knows non dualistically. Our awareness knows oneness. Our awareness directly knows the indivisibleness of beings and Being. Our awareness knows directly and intuitively the light of Beingness. Our awareness knows the formlessness of Being. Our awareness directly knows the Being of human beings. Our awareness knows directly the Being of the world. Our awareness directly knows the multidimensionality of Being and the multidimensionality of beings
There are many religious people of both eastern and western traditions who think, really think, that the direct knowing of the Being of our own Being or the Being of others is an exceptional experience and rare spiritual experience. And this direct knowing must be “spiritually” earned and “merited” by the person. There are teachers of both eastern and western religious traditions who think, who really think, that this direct knowing of Being is ultimately given to a person by some form of ecclesiastic patriarchal religious authority. These opinions can be described as Ma Rigpa. Ma Rigpa is a Dzogchen word for ignorance. The religious person who thinks this way, forecloses, their natural knowledge of the nature of direct knowingness of awareness which is the Direct Knowing of Being.
In truth, many people may experientially lack the natural knowing of Being of themselves and others. Religion itself often hides this reality of our direct and immediate knowing of the field of Being. Many religious traditions and philosophical traditions consider that they are the source of the knowledge of Being and the Beingness of beings. Some may solipsistically think that their tradition is the only source of direct knowledge, the only source of gnosis or jnana. This is the sadness of Ma Rigpa of ignorance.
Beyond the Knowing of Form, A Phenomenology of Equality Consciousness
This experience of Equality Consciousness does go beyond our mind’s experience of the forms of people. Equality consciousness goes beyond our mind’s knowing of human forms and human actions. The experience of Equality Consciousness is the direct knowing of our sublime awareness knowing the Being-ness of the human being. Again, the knowing of mind is the knowing of form and the knowing of Being is the direct knowing of awareness. This direct knowing of the Being of the human being is non- conceptual and direct. In this direct knowing we become what we know. In the eastern traditions this is called Gnosis or Jnana.
The Union of Mind within Awareness
When our mind of knowing form, and our awareness knowing of Being are integrated, then from within this union, the alchemical medium is created so that we as the one knower, can know the form of Being and the Being of form. The one knower can know form within formlessness and know formlessness within form. The one knower can know the Being of their own Being, and the Being of other human beings. The one knower can know the Being of the world and can know the Being of Being itself. The one knower can know the Purity of Being of human beings, including their own Purity of Being. From knowing the purity of one’s own Being, a person can know the purity of Being of all the other human beings. This is natural liberation of Equality Consciousness. This is the natural liberation of our Equal Vision of the Equality of Being of all Human Beings.
When experiencing the Being of a person we have the profound experience of human Being-ness itself. To experience our own Being-ness is to experience the very nature of human Being-ness itself. The Being of the human being is infinite in its horizons and vast and multidimensional. To experience the human Being-ness within another person is to experience the Being-ness of being in and of itself as well as the vastness and multidimensionality of Being. Human Being-ness is of the nature of Pure Being itself. The Pure Being of a human being is naturally known by our direct non conceptual, pre-reflective knowing of our field of awareness. The Purity of Being cannot be known by our mind alone .
Our mind only knows form. Our awareness know Being. Being is formlessness. Awareness knows formlessness. When our mind and our awareness are in union and integrated, then we can know within our human form, the formlessness of Being and the formlessness of Being within all human forms. In this way through our lived experience of human beings we can live in the sea of Being. This is the understanding of contemporary existential phenomenology as well as the understanding of the ancient traditions of Dzogchen and Kashmir Shavism. This natural understanding of Being can also be found in the Pre-Socratic understanding of Heraclitus and Parmenides. This natural understanding can also be found in Thomistic Philosophy as expressed through Jacques Maritian.
Knowing the Oneness of Being and Our Innermost Awareness
As the Dakini said to Dudjom Lingpa “you and I are indivisible”. Another way of describing our deeply felt sense of Equality Consciousness is that there is within our inner most awareness a direct sense of the oneness of Being within us, and the oneness of Being between us and other human beings. Equality Consciousness is the direct experience of our own inner awareness of the oneness of Being within us,and the oneness of Being between us and other human beings.
In this oneness of Being we experience the Equality of Being, and the Purity of Being of human beings. Equal vision means we experience the Equal-ness of Being within ourselves and our Equal-ness of Being within others. There is no above and no below. There is no better and no best. This sense of Equality Consciousness and this sense of Equal Vision is the experience of self- liberation. The great Dzogchen teacher Dudjom Lingpa would continuous say that the essence of Dzogchen is the teaching of the experiencing the Purity of Being of all beings.
Our Mind Only Knows Dualistically and Our mind knows the Differences within Duality
Our mind only knows duality of human beings. Our mind only knows above and below, better and best, right and wrong, good and evil, truth and falsity. Our mind thinks in judgment and our mind thinks in polarities of experience, and our thinks in difference. Our mind cannot experience the Purity of Being, our mind cannot perceive the Equality of Being and our mind can- not perceive the oneness of Being. Our mind knows and perceives difference. Our mind judges difference. Our mind only knows dualistically.
You and I, when we are located only within our mind, we experience the differences within our own sense of our embodied Being. We experience the profound differences within human beings, within our families and within our cultures. We experience differences in intelligence, differences within values, differences within character, differences within power, differences within cultures, and infinite differences within beings. These differences bring forth unending conflict and unending suffering. In our mind alone we experience the difference of Being within ourselves and the difference of our Being with other human beings.
Equality Consciousness is the simultaneous experience of our direct sense of the oneness of Being within us, and within other human beings; and the differences of form between us and the forms of other human beings. Equality consciousness is the experience of oneness within difference and difference within oneness. Equality consciousness is the experience of Non Duality of Being within the Duality of beings. And Equality consciousness is the experience of the Duality of beings within the Non Duality of Being.
Union of Mind Knowing Form and Awareness Knowing Being
Equality Consciousness is the function of the union of our mind knowing forms and our awareness knowing Being. You and I as the One knower can know the form of the human being and the Being-ness of the human being simultaneously. Equality Consciousness and Equal vision is a function of the human knower integrating their knowing of their mind knowing forms and their awareness knowing Being, so that we as the one knower can experience the Beingness of form and the form of Being-ness. Human beings can naturally experience Equality Consciousness and Equal Vision of Being. Equal Vision means there is no above and no below, no better and no best. We are the same in Being and we are the same essence of Being.
Pure Personal Presence and Our Pre-reflective Awareness
Equality Consciousness is our ongoing immediate sense of our Pure Personal Presence of Being and as well as the simultaneous Pure Presence of the Being of our world. Equality Consciousness is our experience of the Pure Presence within the human beings of our world. Our experience of the Pure Presence within human beings is our luminous experience of the radiance of primordial Being within our self and within other human beings. Much of this experience of Pure Presence is pre-reflective and un-thought and non- conceptual knowing. This direct knowing is the form of natural knowing that is always present implicitly and implicate within human field of lived experience.
Our Experience of the Purity of Being
Our experience of the Presence of the Purity of Being is not only within us but profoundly within other human beings. Our direct knowing and natural knowing of the Purity of Being reflects our direct and natural pre-reflective awareness of the Equality of Being and the Sameness of Being within us and within all human beings. The experience of mutual human presence is naturally implicit and implicate within everyone. This is not a knowledge that is simply a function of education or reading books or hearing a lecture. This is the natural knowledge of given-ness that is naturally given as we become a human being.
We have this innate capacity to see and experience Being and the Purity of the Being of human beings. In truth the Being of all human beings is completely Pure. The Being of a human person is completely Pure and completely untouched. The Purity of Being of the human person is our experience of the pure spaciousness of human Being-ness, our experience of the pure openness of human Being-ness, our experience of the pure radiance and pure luminosity of human Being-ness.
The Purity of Being is Not what you Eat, or what you Think, or what you Do! The purity of Being is what you are ontologically. The Purity of your Being is not a function what you feel or a function of your virtuous actions. The Purity of our Being is not contaminated by our bad actions, our evil actions.
The wonderful Purity of human Beingness has nothing whatsoever to do with how we think, or our affective disposition, or our cleanness, or what we eat, or even how we act. The purity of Being has nothing to do with our purity of mind, what we think. We do not make or merit this Purity of Being. We cannot contaminate the Purity of Being. The Purity of Being is the very nature of human Being-ness. The Purity of Being is an ontological givenness. The Purity of Being is ontological. We are ontologically the Purity of Being. Ontic Ontological beings we are!
Experiencing What is Already There!
The required and requiring condition for us is to directly and continuously be present to the actual experience what is already there and present within us, and what will always be there within us throughout our life. Within our life is the Purity of our embodied Being and the Purity of the embodied Being of others. To experience this Purity of embodied Beingness in our self and in others is self- liberation .
The experience of the Purity of the embodied Beingness of human beings is the source of Equality consciousness and the foundational source of our Ontological Basis for political Egalitarianism. To experience the Purity of Being we must become aware of our awareness and within this unbound vast field of awareness, we will experience the Being of phenomena, and the Being-ness of people, and the Being-ness of own awareness which is the Being-ness of our own Being.
The Univocity of Being As Human Being-ness
The essential nature of the Purity of our human Being-ness is described by some as Univocity. The great medieval theologian Duns Scotus described that the essential nature of the Being of human beings as Univocity. Meister Erhardt described the same understanding of the Univocity of the Being of human beings. Univocity means the Sameness of Being of all human beings . Being is the same. There is the sameness of Being in all human beings. There is the sameness of the Purity of Being in all human beings.
Pure Being self-manifests as the Purity of Being of and within
all human beings. The Being of all human beings is the same, exactly the same. The Being of me is exactly the same as the Being of you. The forms of human beings are wildly different. The Being-ness of all human forms are the completely the same. The Being of all human beings are ontologically completely the same; ontologically completely equal and ontologically equally Pure.
Univocity of Being is An Ontological Source of Egalitarianism
This Univocity of human Being-ness and the Univocity of Being itself implies a pantheistic dimension of human existence. This pantheistic understanding implies the Purity of Being and the Purity of Being Self manifesting as the pure Being of all human beings.
This indwelling of the Purity of Being within human beings means the radiance of the Being of human beings is the completely the same. Being itself is not a being, and Being is not a thing. Being is no thingness. Being is spaciousness, and openness and pure radiance. Being self- manifests as the Being of human beings .
Being is luminous openness. Being is pure potentiality and Being self- manifests as the phenomena of human Being-ness. The Being-ness of a being is Being itself. Being is the same within all human beings. The forms of human Being-ness are vastly different, infinity different. The field of Being is the field of human oneness within human difference, and human difference within human oneness.
By our becoming aware of our awareness, we can directly experience Being and we can experientially experience the Purity of Being. Our mind can think about the Purity of Being, but only through awareness can we directly experience the Being that we are.
Being is the Same
You and I are two different beings and yet our Being is the same. Being which is not a being becomes all human beings. Being self -manifests as all human beings. Primordial Being self -manifests as ‘me and as you’, as our Being-ness and as our awareness. The Being of your being is the exactly the same as the Being of my being. You and I are two beings of Being. Being is not a being, Being is not an entity, Being is no-thingness. Being is formlessness. Being is radiance. Being Is Pure. Human awareness is no thingness. Human Being-ness is formlessness and human Being-ness is radiance. Human Being-ness is Pure Being-ness.
Direct Knowing of Awareness is not Believing
These phenomenological descriptions of univocity of human beingness are not contrived values, or beliefs, and neither are they simply philosophical assumptions. These experiential descriptions are experiential perceptions. These descriptions are the experiences of direct seeing and direct knowing. Seeing is believing and believing is not seeing! Believing is not knowing! The Purity of Being is not simply a cognitive experience. The Purity of Being is not a belief. The purity of Being is not an act of faith. The Purity of Being is direct knowing, direct feeling, direct experience and a direct sense of human Being-ness itself. The Purity of Being is our natural perception of the Being that we are.
Of course, this experience of the Purity of Being can be directly experienced when we enter into the awareness of our Being.
Form and Formlessness : The Drama of Equality Consciousness
Still another way of expressing and experiencing the Equality of Consciousness and Equal Vision of human beings is through the experience of the drama of form and formlessness. The infinity of forms of human beings is the source of unending difference among human beings. The forms of beings is a source of beauty and ugliness, bliss and terror, love and hate. All forms of human beings are different.
Yet within the human form is the formlessness of Pure Being. This experience of formlessness within our form is the experience of the formlessness of Pure Being “itself” within our form. Our forms are so different and yet within our form is this mystical formlessness of Pure Being. The mystical formlessness of Being is also the unbound experience of Bliss. Formless-ness is Pure Presence, formlessness is Pure spaciousness, formlessness is Pure luminosity just as ‘I am and just as you are.’ Nothing is earned and all is given. The experience of Being is not a merited experience as some patriarchal religions would have you think. The experience of Being is not won. The experience of Being is the givenness of Being itself. The experience of Being is sacred.
The Experience of Formlessness as The Experience of Pure Beingness
Formlessness is the experience of Pure Being. And within our being of form is Pure formlessness. Although our form is different from the form of another person, our experience of formlessness is ultimately the same as the formlessness of the other person. The experience of formlessness is the same within you and within me. We can experience the formlessness within our self and the formlessness within each other simultaneously.
There is union of Non Duality through our mutual experience of shared formlessness. Our forms are different and our sense of formlessness is the same. Formlessness is the sense of our innermost Being. Formlessness is Oneness. Formlessness is non dualistic. And formlessness is naturally the oneness within the other human beings. Through my formlessness I can directly experience your formlessness. Formlessness knows formlessness. It takes one to know one.
The Formlessness of Human Beingness is Pure, Completely Pure
In experiencing the formlessness of our own Being, we experience the Purity of Being within our self as our own self. This formlessness is the Pure Being of our own being. This purity of Being is always present and always untouched. From within the Purity of our own Being we are able to experience, see and sense and know the Purity of the Being of another person. The problem is that it takes one to know one. If we can experience the purity of our own formless Being, we can see and experience and know the purity of Being of another person. Sometimes if we are fortunate we may meet a person who in experiencing the Purity of their own being and they can easily experience and perceive the Purity of our own Being.
Our being seen and being recognized in the Purity of our Being is the unfolding of self- liberation through self-recognition. In a profound way the perceiving of the Purity of a Being is a function of perceiving from within the Purity of our own Being. Perceiving from our own Being into the Being of another Being, and into the Being of the world is the nature of Non- Dual awareness. Awareness knows Being . And the knowing of Being is awareness. Awareness is not a function of the mind. Awareness is a function of Being. Awareness is Being knowing of Being. Our mind only knows forms. Our mind knows the forms of Beings.
Formlessness to Formlessness
This relationship of formlessness to formlessness is completely natural and completely ordinary. The experience of Formlessness is not an extraordinary gift or a gift of an exceptional person. There is a religious mystification of the formlessness of Being as being beyond the bliss of the ordinary. This is an unhappy distortion. This religious mystification is completely untrue and unnecessary. Such mystification devalues what is, just as it is. This mystification is Ma Rigpa. Ma Rigpa means lacking in the knowingness of Being. In Ma Rigpa there is only the mind knowing form. This Ma Rigpa means the ignorance of Being. Ma Rigpa is a source of much suffering.
This natural perceptual capacity of knowing the formlessness and the Purity of Being within our self and within others can be underdeveloped and under used. As Longchenpa the great Dzogchen master of the 14th century directly points out, that if you have a very concrete rationalistic mind and are locked in concrete rational cognition of form alone, and you have naturally foreclosed the knowing of awareness. In this concreteness you will only know form alone. You will not experience formlessness and neither will you experience the formlessness of Being. You will not experience the Purity of human beings, you will not experience the Purity of Being of your own Being. You will lack the contact with the human Being-ness of your human formless Pure Being. You will think you are a thing among other things.
To experience the formlessness of Being in ourselves, and to experience the formlessness of Being in others, is to experience the field dimension of Equality Consciousness. Formlessness is a field phenomenon. The formlessness of a human being is infinitely Pure and goes beyond our human body boundaries. The formlessness of the Being of our being is the presence of the field of spaciousness, the presence of the field of openness, and the Pure presence of the field of luminous radiant energy of the field of Pure Being that we are.
The Heart of Egalitarianism is our ongoing experience of the pervasive presence of the Pure Being-ness of our self, and as the self of others. Most dramatically, the presence of human Being-ness is in all of the various forms of human beings. This presence is completely Pure. This presence is the Purity of Light, the Purity of open radiant Being-ness. Our mutual experience of the pervasive presence of Pure Beingness within each other brings forth the Egalitarian field. The Egalitarian Field reflects our manifestation of the Presence of Pure Being.
Egalitarian Social Political Field
Our mutual experience of pervasive presence of our Pure Beingness within each person brings forth the Egalitarian field of existing-ness/Being. From within the ontological field of mutual resonance and mutual attunement to the Pure Beingness that is within each other, the power of the Egalitarian field of Being manifests as a Social Political Ontic experience. The social political egalitarian field of Being is ontologically grounded in our awareness of mutually experienced Purity of Being. This is a foundational experience of knowingness becoming self-action and self- manifestation. Without this existential perceptual foundation, we are living in opinion and belief, rather than living in the wisdom of direct experience, direct perception, and direct knowing. Egalitarianism may then become one more opinion and one more ardent belief. And of course, believing is not knowing. And in knowing, you do not need believing.
Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. Diplomate In Clinical Psychology, A.B.P.P.
Washington Center for Consciousness Studies and the Washington Center for Phenomenological and Existential Psychotherapy Studies
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