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

The Metabolization of Our Experience of Phenomena A Phenomenological Dzogchen 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

Rongzom Zangpo the 11 th century Dzogchen master wrote the great Dzogchen text called The Establishment of Appearance as Divinity. He wrote how the power of awareness brings forth the power of the metabolization of phenomenological experience. The Luminous Being of our primordial Awareness can metabolized and assimilate and digest our ongoing experience of phenomena. Our innate experiential field of Awareness can metabolize the forms of experience and what remains is the energy and light of the metabolized phenomena.

Our mind also has the power of metabolization of phenomenological experience, but our mind is limited in its capacity to metabolize and digest our experience of the unfolding of life events and circumstances. Our mind can mentalize and symbolize our experience and understand our lived phenomenological experience but does not have the power of the metabolization of the Being of the phenomena, so that what actually remains is more energy and light of embodied Being.

We have two ways of knowing. Our mind knows phenomena and our mind knows the essence of phenomena and the character of phenomena. Our awareness knows Being. In the union of our mind within our awareness, we can know the essence of phenomena and the Being of the phenomena.

Our own personal inner field of primordial foundational luminous awareness has the luminous power for the metabolization of the phenomenological Being of our experience. Being within our field of embodied awareness allows us to digest and metabolize our experience of phenomena and what remains is more energy and light and more power of our field of luminous awareness. Our own field of luminous awareness is our own Who-ness, and our Who-ness is the power of the metabolization of phenomenological experience. Our primordial field of awareness of Being is our Who-ness of our Being as Being.

Our Luminous Power of Metabolization

Our own field of awareness is our luminous openness of our Being, and our own awareness is the Luminosity of our Being, and our own awareness is the powerful Vital Metabolistic Energy of Being manifesting as our Indestructible life force of Being. Our own awareness is the Presence of Being indwelling within us as us. Our own awareness is the profound Who-ness of Being within us as us. Our own awareness is both the creative and destructive energies of Being. Our Metabolization of experience is both a creative and destructive manifestation.

Luminous Vibrational Energy

Our own powerful embodied luminous awareness metabolizes phenomenological experience and what remains is Luminous Vibrational Energy. Our power of our Being- fullness as the energetic luminous awareness field metabolizes the vast range of human experience from the most beautiful to the most tragic. The metabolization of experience results in the intensification of our luminous vibrational power of our Being which is Being itself manifesting within us as us. The Being of awareness manifest in us as us. Awareness is the knowingness of our Being that directly knows Being. Our mind knows the form of phenomena and our awareness knows the Being of phenomena. Being shines through form and the manifestations of form.

Our phenomenological experience is metabolized and digested by the luminous vibrational Being- full metabolizing energy of our embodied field of Awareness. Our field of awareness is our Who-ness. We metabolized phenomenological experience and what luminous energy remains is transformed into our deepening embodiment of luminous Vital energy of Being. Being is the luminous Being of our Awareness field as our personal pervasive Who-ness.

Timeless Awareness

Our Who-ness is the experience of Timeless awareness in time. Our experience of Timeless awareness is our experience of the Ground of our Being as primordial Timeless awareness manifesting in time.

The Experiential Unfolding of the Trans-lucidity of Being

Our Phenomenological experience can be transformed into the Trans-lucidity of our Being as Awareness which is the Trans-lucidity of Being. All experience can be metabolized into the Trans-lucidity of our Who-ness which is the Trans-lucidity of our Being. Both the experience of Beauty and the experience of Terror can be metabolized into the luminous energy of our field of Being as our field of luminous awareness.

Abhinavagupta, the Kashmir Shaivite Master described the fire of our luminous awareness as a powerful and violent digestion. As we become aware of our own innate intrinsic sea of awareness the power of metabolization of our human experience becomes more possible and more visible. The trauma of our human life experience can be metabolized by the luminous light and energies of our innate awareness field of Being. Our metabolized lived experience in its breath and depth can bring forth the Trans-lucidity of experience within our luminous embodiment of Being, our luminous embodiment of our Primordial Who-ness.

The Power of Prajna Is the Power of the Dynamic Energy of Awareness (Rigpa)

An important aspect of our power of metabolization is that our mind and our experience of our mind is integrated into our field of primordial awareness. Our field of primordial awareness is the field of non-conceptual awareness which is the field of Being and the powers of Being. The Powers of Being’s Energy, the power of Being’s Trans -lucidity, the power of the Radiance of Being, the power of the Openness of Being , and the Creative Metabolization Power of Being results in our embodiment of the field of radiant awareness as Trans -lucidity which is our profound sense of our field of Who-ness.

The ontic-ness of mind must be integrated into the Ontological process of metabolization. This process of metabolization is intrinsic to the process of self-liberation both psychologically and ontologically. Our profound sense of who-ness is our profound capacity for the metabolization of phenomenological experience.

Who-ness is Pure Beingness and Who-ness is The Ground of Being

We can experience naturally the Being of all beings and the Being of our natural world. Amazingly, the essence of our own Pure Being can be experienced as the fullness of our own Who-ness. Our own Who-ness is of the essence of Pure Being. Our own Who-ness is the indwelling Ground of Being. Just as we are!

The Ground of Being manifesting as our Who-ness is infinite in its horizons, vast and multidimensional. The Ground of our Being is the profound Who-ness of the infinity of the Being of beings as our Cosmological Being is Cosmological Who-ness.

Who-ness is not simply a psychological phenomenon. Who-ness is in essence our Ontological Awareness as Yeshe, as Gnosis, as Jnana and as the vast Trans-lucidity of Timeless Awareness of the Ground of Being as Source. Our Being of Awareness is the Ground of Being in manifestation.

Our own awareness is the primordial awareness of and as the Ground of Being. There is no difference between source and appearances of source or the manifestations of source. To experience this direct experiential knowingness is self-liberation.

To experience Who-ness in ongoing continuity of Being is self-liberation just as we are. Self-Liberation is neither omnipotence nor omniscience as some would have you think. Omnipotence and omniscience are simply the human aspiration of Grandiosity.

The Ground of Being is expressed in and as the three Kayas or three dimensions of Being. The fourth Kaya symbolizes the oneness of all the kayas as the Ground of Being and is called Svabhavikakaya. All the different dimensions are the same Being. Our awareness is multidimensional and multisensorial.

We are the self-appearance of the Ground of Being. All phenomenological experience is the phenomenological ontological experience of the Ground of Being. Our Ground of Being indwells within us as our own Who-ness.

Our Archetypal Sambhogakaya Dimension of Being

Our archetypal Sambhogakaya dimension of our Being opens spontaneously both in depth and in breath through our “imaginal” direct perception within the symbolic archetypal dimension of our Being which is the Ground of Being itself in manifestation. Our imaginal experiencing of the archetypal sambhogakaya dimensions opens our perception of archetypal Symbolic ontological dimension of Being. We are the archetypal dimension of Being, although the experience of this dimension may be hidden and concealed for many of us. Unfortunately, some of our patriarchal religious traditions obscure the directness and naturalness and givenness of experiencing the Beingness of our Being as a human being.

Imaginal perception does not mean fantasy or imagination as in making up fantasy or inventing imagery, rather imaginal means our direct experience of archetypal forms as images and forms of experience. Imaginal means perceiving visionary experience. Imaginal is the opening to beatific visions and beatific experience of the archetypal manifestation of non-dual states of luminous experience.

The archetypal dimension of Being is an intensely powerful dimension of our metabolization. The Prajna or wisdom energy of this archetypal symbolic dimension is ontologically powerful and manifests luminous power in the transformation of our phenomenological experience into luminous vibrational energy of our field of Being.

The archetypal symbolic dimension often opens spontaneously. The archetypal dimension of Being often opens within dreams and dreaming. In mind alone it is difficult to directly experience the archetypal manifestation of the Ground of Being. To enter awareness of our awareness, is to enter into the transitional space of awareness and is to enter our innermost dimension of Who-ness which is the Ground of Being. Our inner most who-ness opens for us the manifestation of the primordial field of Being arising archetypically and symbolically within us and for us ‘as us’.

Our field of awareness as Who-ness and as archetypal Who-ness can assimilate and metabolize the archetypal symbolic phenomenological experience. Our field of awareness as Who-ness is multidimensional. The wording of imaginal experience does not mean fantasy. Here imaginal means seeing and experiencing the phenomenological ontological realm of our multidimensional Archetypal Being that we are; and that we are actually in the archetypal dimension of Being which is the Symbolic dimension of our own Who-ness. The Symbolic dimension is the Symbolic dimensions of our Being which is Being itself as us.

The phenomenological ontological realm of Being is a realm of cosmological power and Beatific experience. We can metabolize and assimilate the power and the luminous visionary experience of the archetypal dimension. The phenomenological experience of the archetypal symbolic Sambhogakaya dimension is the ground of Being manifesting within the symbolic archetypal realm. The archetypal realm simultaneously is manifesting within, and as the ordinary life world.

Our ordinary life world is Nirmanakaya dimension. As we are living within the ordinary life world we can bring forth and invoke the power of the archetypal dimension, and the forms of the archetypal dimension infuse our experience of the ordinary life world. We can bring forth the archetypal dimension into the realm of our ordinary life world. This practice is bringing the archetypal powers into our ordinary life world with its limitations and strengths.

Archetypal experience in not simply a psychological ontic experience of fantasy making or the appearance of psychological collective memory as some think. Rather the archetypal dimension (Sambhogakaya) is a dimension of Being that is of the ontological dimension of our Archetypal Symbolic Actuality that we are. We experientially can enter the archetypal ontological symbolic realm and the archetypal symbolic realm manifesting within us as us. The Ground of Being is us, and the Ground of Being is appearing to us as us as the Ground of Being. So, the Archetypal Symbolic Dimension of Being is us and appears within us and to us as the Archetypal Field of our multidimensional Being.

Archetypal Symbolic Phenomena

Archetypal Symbolic Phenomena and our experience of archetypal Symbolic phenomena can be brought into and within our own innate primordial Who-ness. Symbolic phenomena can be assimilated or metabolized within our Innermost field of awareness which is our own Who-ness. Our experience of profound cosmological Who-ness is the vast beatific dimension of the primal power and powers of the Beingness of our being.

The Archetypal Symbolic Realm of the powerful Symbolic Dimensions of our cosmological luminous energies of the field of Being are the field of energies and fields of archetypal luminous forms that create human and cosmological experience and reflect the profound beatific drama of Being’s ontological manifestations.

Personification Of the Natural Manifestation of Being

These beatific and archetypal forms manifest the ordinary dimension of our life world. These beatific archetypal and symbolic forms of actuality are expressed as deities and dakinis and other beatific forms, and they are expressed as vortices (energies) such as Sun and Moon like radiance. The archetypes are expressed as personifications of Being. As Jung discovered Archetypal experience is not primarily the psychological powers of our mind experience but rather these powers reflect the ontological powers and luminous ontological energies of Being manifesting within us, around us, through us and beyond us.

We are personifications of Being. Personification is the natural manifestation of Being. Personification is the natural manifestation of cosmological Being. Animals are personifications of Being. Trees and plants can be personifications of Being. Mountains and oceans can be personification of Being. The personhood of Being can appear and disappear. Personhood can be obscured, hidden and concealed just as Being can be obscured, hidden and concealed. Reality is Personal. Self-Liberation is profoundly personal. Self-liberation cannot be institutionalized. The archetypal realm can be invoked and brought forward and into our ordinary life world, but this archetypal dimension is not owned by any tradition or any institutionalization. The archetypal realm cannot be institutionalized.

Patriarchal Institutions may pretend to own and oversee the Archetypal Symbolic Sambhogakaya dimension but that is another Patriarchal gesture of would-be Absolute knowledge and would be Omnipotence.

Profoundly Personal

Who-ness is profoundly personal. Ontological who-ness personalized human experience and the different dimensions of human experience. Ontological who-ness personalizes the driven-ness of Instinctive sexuality and Instinctive aggression. Ontological who-ness personalizes the archetypal dimension of human existence. And Ontological who-ness personalizes the powerfully critical and judgmental structure of the superego caught in the polarities of right and wrong, good and evil, better and best and truth and falsity. The superego with its sadomasochistic orientation is caught in the unending archetypal drama of Eros and Thanatos, the drama of life and death, the drama of heaven and hell.

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


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The All Creative Source and its Various Translations

The All Creating Source or Kunjed Gyalpo

There are a number of Translations and Even different titles of the 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. State University of New York Press.1992.

3.The All Creating King by Christopher Wilkinson.2019.

4.The Kunjed Gyalpo Series, Translated James Valby. James Valby Publications, Shelburne Falls,Ma 2018

These are all great translations with of course different nuances.

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