The Natural Hiddenness of the Luminous Experience of Being within Human Beings: A Phenomenology of C
The Natural Hiddenness of the Luminous Experience of Being within Human Beings: A Phenomenology of Concealment
Rudolph Bauer Ph.D. Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, The Washington Center for Consciousness Studies and The Washington Center for Phenomenological and Existential Psychotherapy Studies
Hiddenness and Concealment
The hiddenness of the experience of Being happens naturally for us. Being’s manifestation of beings is concealed by the very form of the beings that Being manifests. As we know, Being which is not a being manifests beings who can experience the Being-ness of Being. Human beings can experience the Being-ness of their Being. Moreover, human beings can experience Being in and of itself. The very forms of the beings and the experience of the beings can conceal and obscure the sense and experiential visible-ness of Being itself.
The form of the being can hide the experience of Being of the being and the experience of Being itself.
The loss of our experience of our oneness with Being happens because of our experience of the difference between us and other beings. The oneness of Being itself manifests differences between beings. The presence of the oneness of Being as beings is obscured because of the compelling actuality of our dualistic experience within the dualistic forms of phenomena. Phenomena is compelling!
Our indivisibleness within each other and our indivisibleness with Being is obscured and made invisible by the dramatic compelling experience of the different range and forms of our experience such as pleasure and pain, happiness and horror, anxiety and relational yearning, sex and death, starvation and torture, to name a few.
Phenomena Hides Being
Phenomena hides Being. Forms of phenomena hide Being. Being manifesting beings is hidden by the very appearance of the beings that Being self-manifests. The various forms of the beings hide Being itself. Our intense experience of forms, our intense experience of phenomena both inner phenomena and outer phenomena, cloaks our subtle experience of Being. Being itself is not a being. Being manifests the infinite experience of beings. Being’s self-manifesting as phenomena is hidden by the very same self-manifestation of the phenomenological form. Being becomes hidden within phenomena. Phenomena and the forms of phenomena hide the presence of Being.
The light of Being and the radiance of Being is hidden by its very own self-manifestation of luminous forms of beings as our experience of luminous beings and things. The radiance of Being is within all beings and this luminous presence is within all forms. Yet the experiential definitiveness of form can hide the lucidity of Being’s presence. The experience of Pure being or Pure presence or Pure radiance is hidden by the relentless self- manifestation of Being as beings who are in fact pure presence, who are pure radiance light . Likewise, Pure consciousness which self-manifest as all appearance, all experience and all phenomena is hidden by the self-same appearance, the self- same experience of the self-same phenomena. The experiential visibility of phenomena hides the subtle luminous manifestation of Being as the Being-ness of all beings. This is bewildering, is it not?
Loss of the Medium of Being
With our loss of this medium of Being, we become locked within the web of our personal psychology of mind alone. Within the absence of the field of awareness, we become locked within the web of our psychology of mind alone.
The Experiencing of the Appearing of Phenomena Hides Manifestation of Being
When appearance is manifested, the very experience of the appearing of phenomena hides the unfolding process of the manifestation of Being. In experiencing the appearance of phenomena, the way our mind’s experiences phenomena can foreclose and overshadow our awareness, and overshadow the way our awareness experiences the Being of beings. The appearing and the experiencing of phenomena by mind alone hides Being and the radiance of Being.
As phenomena becomes compellingly visible and compellingly experienced by mind alone, then Being becomes invisible, unfelt, unknown. Without the presence of awareness, the field of Being is not experienced. Without the presence of awareness, the field of Being is not experienced!
Reason for Hiddenness: The Two Ways of Knowing
The reason for the hiddenness is because the mind only knows form and our awareness only knows Being. When mind alone knows form then only form is known, and Being is hidden and obscured. When awareness alone knows Being, then Being is known and the phenomena of form is hidden. Now when mind is integrated within awareness then both form and Being are experienced simultaneously by the person. Both form and Being can be known simultaneously. When mind is integrated within awareness both phenomena and the Being of the phenomena is experienced simultaneously.
When mind alone knows phenomena, then duality alone is experienced. Without the non-dual knowingness of awareness knowing Being, then only duality of form is experienced! When awareness alone knows the Being of phenomena, then the non-duality of Being alone is experienced. Without mind, the duality of form is not experienced. When mind is integrated within awareness, then within the duality of phenomena, the non-duality of Being is known and our indivisibleness with phenomena is directly experienced and known. This is gnosis, this is jnana, to use the ancient language of knowingness.
Knowing non-duality within duality, means that through knowing an individual in duality, we are also able experientially to know the non-duality of Being itself. There is a ‘you and an I’ and we experience the indivisibility within us, and between us. Knowing duality within non-duality, means that by being in the field of awareness I am in the field of Being, and within this field of Being, I experientially know you as being within this field of Being. Within this field of Being, this sea of Being, I experience you as a being of Being. I experience your singularity of a being within this field of Being, and I experience oneness and difference simultaneously.
Trans-lucidity Of Awareness
When we become aware of our own awareness, we experience the trans-lucidity of our own awareness. When we experience the trans-lucidity of awareness, the trans-lucidity of Being and trans-lucidity of form can be experienced simultaneously. When we experience the trans-lucidity of our own awareness the trans-lucidity of mind is experienced. The experience of the trans-lucidity of awareness infuses the trans-lucidity of mind. The trans-lucidity of awareness opens the experience of the trans-lucid field of Being.
When we are in the trans-lucidity of awareness and the trans-lucidity of mind, then the trans-lucidity of phenomena naturally opens and we experience the trans-lucidity of field of Being manifesting as luminous phenomena and the field of Being shining forth as the pure field of Being. The luminosity of awareness infuses the luminosity of mind, and the union of luminosity of mind and luminosity of awareness opens the luminous experience of the field of phenomena as the field of Being. This is gnosis and this jnana.
Praxis to Invoke the Luminosity of the Field of Awareness
There is no one way to invoke the luminous field of awareness. There are many ways. One way, is a way of phenomenology and there are many phenomenological ways. I will describe one phenomenological path to invoke, and bring forth within oneself the luminosity of awareness. In this phenomenological process, we must first suspend our mind temporarily (epoche), and the judgmental-ness of our mind; and then within this suspension of mind, we focus our awareness not on our mind but we focus our awareness on and within awareness itself. As we experience our awareness of our own awareness, the trans-lucidity of awareness self- arises and begins to shine forth. As we sustain this self-illumination of awareness, we slowly establish ourselves in the stability of this trans-lucid experience of awareness. Within the stability of this trans-lucidity of awareness, within our experience of the ongoing continuity of this trans-lucid experience of luminous knowingness, we then integrate our mind and the functions of our mind within this field of luminous awareness. Within this stabilized union of the trans-lucidity of awareness and our mind, the light of awareness infuses the lucidity of our mind. The awareness and luminosity of mind opens the luminous experience of the field of phenomena as the field of Being. The light of awareness in union with the light of mind opens up for us the luminous experience of the field of Being as the field of luminous phenomena. This is gnosis and this is jnana.
Gazing and Trans-lucidity
Gazing from within the lucidity of the field of awareness in union with the lucidity of mind is a direct method for experiencing the field of phenomena as the field of Being. Gazing into the open sky in a sustained fashion opens our luminous awareness into the lucidity of sky like awareness of the field of Being. The qualities of the field of Being begin to become manifest such as vast unbound sky-like spaciousness, the radiance of luminous light shining forth, the spanda or movement of the luminous energetic pulsations and vibrations of the awareness field manifesting within us and around us. Naturally, the experience of compassion is directly experienced as the power of our own awareness, our own knowingness. This is gnosis and this jnana.
Gazing within events and gazing within persons opens the field of Being as phenomena. The field of Being as the phenomena of events, and the field of Being as the phenomena of the singularity of person is revealed. The gazing of our luminous awareness into the luminous phenomena of events and person, opens the doorway for the field of Being to completely manifest just as it is.
Self- Illumination as a Co-Emergent Process
It is really useful and wonderful to know that the self-illumination of awareness in union with the trans-lucidity of mind can be a co-emergent process. Being within our own awareness and experiencing our union of luminous awareness and luminous mind with another person who is also in awareness and whose awareness is in union with their mind, is a most powerful skillful means to bring forth awareness and deepen our experience of non-dual awareness within our self and within the other. As one of my teachers Erving Polster would so often say “Two awareness-s are better than one.” Just as self-regulation can be enhanced by co-self- regulation within the bodily dimension, so too can self-illumination of the mutually held awareness field be a co-emergent process between and within companions.
The lucidity within one’s own awareness, as one’s own awareness can experience the lucidity within the other’s awareness as lucidity. It is true, awareness awakens awareness both in one’s self and in others. This is the secret of Tantra. The luminous energy of the field within our own body can resonate to the luminous energy of the field in the other’s body, deepening the mutual embodiment of the light of the field of Being. Light is awareness and awareness is light. The attunement of awareness within our own embodiment can bring forth the attunement to the field of awareness within the body of the other. Self- illumination is a co-emergent process. Or two luminous awareness-s are better than one luminous awareness.
The self- arising of the awareness field in our self resonates to the self- arising of awareness within the other’s body. The self-arising of our energy can bring forth the self-arising of the energy of the field within the other and can bring forth the mutual sustaining of the energy field within both persons.
Dasein, as Heideggarian phenomenology implies, is not the experience of mind alone, but rather the foundational experience of Being, which is our openness to openness itself. Dasein is the openness of a human being to Being itself. Dasein is the openness of awareness to primordial awareness itself. Dasein is the light open to the light.
Development of Personal Psychology and the Unfolding of Hiddenness
Most often in ordinary life many people are often located in dualistic mind alone and their experience of the non-dual field of awareness can be fore-closed. The natural unfolding of a person’s development of dualistic mind begins to foreclose their childhood experience of non-dualistic awareness within their corresponding experiencing of the non-duality of the field of Being. The infant’s experience of non-dual indivisible experience with the maternal person and maternal matrix slowly begins to be left behind as the child’s developing mind and the developing relational experience of mind with others slowly expands into the world. As the mind develops the functions of knowing through thinking, knowing through affective states, and knowing through sensation and knowing through imagination, the experience of form and forms comes into fullness,. Within these developments of mind the experience of knowing Being and the experience of the non-duality of Being begins to fall to the background of experience. The baby gnosis of non-dualistic knowing begins to disappear. The baby’s sense of oneness and indivisibleness begins to disappear. The non-duality of childhood is foreclosed. The magical years of childhood end.
Hence the person begins to experience the continuity of relational mind and the continuity of the experience of the forms of beings and the forms of things. The more primordial experience of the ongoing continuity of being of one’s own Being and the Being of other beings becomes less compelling and less in the forefront of their experience of self and otherness.
The Ancient Felt Sense
As living within the field of pre-reflective and non-conceptual awareness is replaced by living in the mediated knowingness of mind alone then the experience of the non-duality of the field of Being disappears into memory as an ancient felt sense. The ancient felt sense of indivisible-ness becomes transferred to symbolic images of god or goddesses or divine realms. Thus, there begins the continuous waiting for God or the divine realm to appear or reappear and manifest the symbolic into actuality. God will return one day! The divine realm will manifest one day and we are waiting. Still Waiting! This transcendental view is a view of waiting. For us the divine realm becomes out there and no longer within ‘us as us’. Out there but not in here! No longer within the immediacy of our experience just as it is! This is existential sadness.
Mind Alone as the Singular Focus
As the knowingness of mind alone becomes completely perceptually dominant, awareness as the knowingness of the oneness of Being begins to disappear and the mind’s knowing of the form of beings overshadows our ontological experience of the Being of beings and the world of Being. The world as Being disappears more or less. For those who are able to remain located in this field of awareness conjoined with mind, then the wonderful experience of the world of phenomena as the field of Being can be sustained more or less. This fortunate person will continue to embody the field of Being and the field of light and experience the sense of non-duality within duality, and duality within non duality throughout their life. They will experience the unfolding of the field of Being and the continuity of Being and the Being-ness of all the beings in direct and experiential knowingness. Their awareness will often have a brilliance, and a shining, and a luminosity.
Re-Awakening of Awareness throughout Life
Happily, many human experiences can bring forth the re-awakening of awareness and the corresponding self-arising of the direct knowing of the awareness field and the non- dual experience of knowing the Being of beings. The experiences of true love continuously awakens awareness.
True love is an experience of indivisibleness with the beloved. Love itself comes forth arising out of awareness and love is the experience of indivisibleness within another being or with many beings. When we encounter love of a being, the non-dual field of Being itself is experienced. True love is the field of Being manifesting through beings. True love is experiencing the field of Being within us and within another. The love of our own being is the love of Being itself which is manifesting our own being as the Being-ness of Being. True love is non-dual experience of the indivisible field of Being which is manifesting within and through the experience of our own being and the being of another.
To love the being of another opens us to the love of Being itself. To love our own being opens us to the love of Being itself. To love another being opens us to the love of our own being and Being itself. The love of a being is divine love and the love of Being is divine love. To be in true love is to experience divinity. Of course love and lust are not the same. Lust loves to think it is love.
Loss and Death
Another powerful event that awakens awareness is the experience of loss, the experience of separation and the experience of the possible death of others. The power of loss invokes the power of the experience of the emptiness of void which ultimately is the very nature of the opening of primordial awareness within all of us. The experience of the void is the opening of the face of Being and the face of awareness as the knowingness of Being. The awakening of the vastness of awareness, often results In the experience of the void, and then the opening of this void can in time unfold into the experience of the fullness of Being which is luminous spaciousness, luminous vital-ness, luminous knowingness, and the radiance of the light.
Often the initial experience of the void is the spaciousness of the field of awareness without the radiance and vital-ness of luminosity. Sometimes the initial experience of the void is emptiness and terror. We sometimes call this experience ontological anxiety.
Becoming the Field
The trans-lucidity of field of Being can open for us out of the experience of loss. We may then experience this emptiness as the complete contingency of everything and anything. Then the unfolding openness of awareness as emptiness opens us further into unbound openness itself and the fullness of Being begins to become apparent as felt sense of the luminous radiance of Being becomes apparent. And so the luminous openness of primordial awareness continues to unfold and open into the breath and depth of the field of Being. In time and through time we experience the power of potential space as luminosity and as the luminous radiance that manifests everyone and everything. In the language of Dzogchen tradition this potential space is called ground awareness or the Dharmakaya.
We experience this awareness as a field, vast and multidimensional and infinite in its horizon. This process of the unfolding of the experience of our luminous Being has different phases. One way of understanding this unfolding phase process is first, we may find ourselves holding this awareness field within us. We become awareness holders. Then in time we rest in this field of awareness and this experience feels as if we are in the sea of light and energy of this sea of Being, this field of Being. In this phase we are in the sea of Being and this sea is in front of us, above us and below us and through us and surrounds us in depth and breath. And, in time and through time we begin to become the field. We become the field of awareness. We become the field of radiance light, we become the field of vital energy, of unbound spaciousness. And in time we become timeless awareness. We become timeless awareness in time. This is self- liberation. This is the experience of the immanence of field within us and as us. This is the experience of immanence of Being as our own being and as the world.
The Loss of the Felt Sense of Being and the Unfolding of the Transcendental Method of Dissociation that Enhances the Hiddenness of the Being of Phenomena.
When the mind alone focuses on forms and the phenomena of forms and the experience of forms are experienced outside the field of awareness, without the base of Being, there naturally arises in time, a felt sense of the lack of Being. This sense of lack arises as the mind alone dominates perception and the presence of non-dual awareness is foreclosed.
If we experience phenomena from our mind alone, we will not experience the phenomena as the field of Being. We will not experience the luminosity of phenomena, we will not experience the openness of phenomena. We will not experience the purity of phenomena. If we experience phenomena within the union of our mind and awareness, then we will directly experience the field of phenomena and the field of appearance as the field of Being. We will experience our very experience as the field of Being.
This felt sense of lack and the hiddenness of being is experienced within ancient transcendental traditions such as forms of Buddhism and forms of Vedanta. This lack and hiddenness of being also arises within western cultural experience.
The transcendental traditions consider that this sense of the lack and the sense of the loss of Being is a function of our minds’ relationship to phenomena and the appearance of phenomena. There is truth in this understanding as we have presented in the beginning of this essay on hiddenness.
Sadly, the transcendental view does not recognize or embrace the wisdom that the natural integration of mind and awareness opens the field of Being within phenomena and through phenomena as phenomena. The transcendentalist traditions do not know that the natural union of mind that knows form, and awareness that knows Being, opens the field of Being within us and within the world as phenomenological Being. In light of the union of our mind and awareness, we can experience the direct knowing of the luminous field of Being as beings. Through this natural union of mind and awareness the direct knowing (gnosis) of appearance as Being is possible. The converging experience of the duality of phenomena within the non-duality of Being can become our ongoing experience. The self- arising of our experience of the indivisibleness between the knower and the known is the experiential manifestation of the non-dual oneness. Awareness and phenomena are not separated or dissociated.
Transcendentalists do not experience the indivisibleness within the field of immanence. They do not directly experience that appearance and source are in non-duality. They do not experience that appearance and source are in oneness. They do not experience that phenomena and Being are in oneness. The transcendentalist tradition philosophically and experientially splits appearance and source. The transcendentalist philosophically separate and dissociates phenomena and awareness. The transcendentalist philosophically and experientially dissociates Being and beings. The transcendental view splits forms of phenomena and formless Being. The transcendentalist split beings and Being. The transcendentalist view conceals the non-duality of appearance and Being, conceals the oneness of phenomena and source, conceals the oneness of phenomena and Being, conceals the indivisibleness of Being and beings.
The transcendentalists do not know or directly experience that by knowing the Being-ness of one’s own Being and the Being-ness of the Being of another being, that the non-duality of Being can be experienced. They do not know that by knowing the Being of beings, the Being of the world is experienced directly. They do not know that to experience the being of phenomena is to experience Being itself. They separate Being and phenomena. They do not experience that the simultaneous embodiment of awareness and mind is the medium of knowing phenomena as the field of Being. The embodiment of mind and embodiment of awareness is the medium of knowing mind and awareness in union. The transcendental view does not experience the purity of Being as the purity of all phenomena. The do not experience the light of phenomena as the light of Being. Transcendentalist split the knowingness of mind and awareness.
Intertwining of Mind and Awareness
Transcendentalist do not experience the natural intertwining between mind and awareness that naturally brings forth the experience of the Being of phenomena as pure Being itself. They do not know that the phenomena of their own innermost experience is the manifestation of Being itself. They do not know that all experience is the manifestation of Pure Being. All appearance and all phenomena is the manifestation of Pure Being. They do not know that all phenomena is the openness of Pure Being. They do not know that all phenomena and all appearance are the radiant light of primordial awareness. They do not know that primordial awareness is manifested in us as our own awareness. The very same primordial awareness or ground awareness is manifesting all of our circumstances and the appearance of circumstance. They do not know that embodiment of luminous awareness is the natural vehicle of self- liberation.
This lack of knowing within transcendental view obscures the light of Being and conceals the presence of luminous Being as our own awareness. This lack of knowing conceals the presence of phenomena as being manifesting the presence of Pure Being.
Transcendentalism as the Path of Negation, the Path of What Is Not
The transcendent focus whether Buddhist or Vedic or Christian is focused on the pervasive sense of lack, and the lack is thought to arise simply because the mind is attached to phenomena. Phenomena becomes the focus of negation. This transcendental view lacks the non-dual understanding that direct knowingness of the Being-ness of a being results in direct experience of the duality of beings being within non duality of Being. The transcendental traditions do not know that human beings can experience non-duality within duality. The transcendentalist do not know that by experiencing the luminous Being-ness of a being, the luminosity of Being itself shines forth. This lack of direct knowing forms an obscuration of Being as the field of being within our life including our own being.
Beyond the Duality of Phenomena
The transcendentalist think that the only way to experience non-duality is to experience the non-duality of Being beyond dualistic phenomena. They think that the only way to experience non-duality is to be beyond phenomena, beyond the natural duality of phenomena, the variety of phenomena.
This is the transcendental view and prejudice. They think, they really think Pure Being is beyond phenomena. They think, they really think that, by going beyond and going beyond, and going beyond all phenomena is the only path to liberation. They think that phenomena hides Being. Both internal and external phenomena hide the light. They do not know that the union of mind and awareness opens the light of phenomena, the light of being. And so they think, really think that the only path is the path of negation. This is the path of “neti, neti.” (Not this and not that and neither this nor that!) Transcendentalist dissociate from phenomena.
The transcendentalist think, they really think, that the only way into the field of Being is through dissociation of their mind from phenomena. They think that by dissociating mind from phenomena whether internal phenomena or external phenomena, then and only then will the nature of Being manifest, will the nature of Being shine forth. They think that by transcending phenomena and going beyond phenomena then, and only then will the nature of phenomena manifest, will the nature of Being manifest.
Many transcendentalist think that the nature of phenomena is simply emptiness or void. Some transcendentalist think this emptiness or void is an absence of light, the absence of radiance, and the absence of pure potentiality.
Being without Form
The transcendentalist think the face of Being will only manifest without form, and only beyond form. They do not know, really know that pure Being is form. They do not know that all form is pure Being. They do not know that all beings are pure. The do not know that the purity of Being is the purity of all beings. They do not know the purity of form. They do not know that the purity of being is manifested within all phenomena as purity of phenomena. This lack conceals the luminous actuality of pure Being within phenomena and within all experience and within all appearance.
Some think purity is what you eat or do not eat. Some think purity is what you think or do not think. Some think that purity is what you do or do not do. Some do not really remember the unfolding implications of the early wisdom teachings that form is emptiness and emptiness is form. They do not remember that this emptiness is pure potentiality, pure light.
Pure Being as Phenomena, Phenomena as Pure Being
May I always have the gift of experiencing all phenomena as pure Being. May I always experience the manifestation of all phenomena as pure Being. May I always experience the purity of phenomena. Transcendentalists think that to experience Being they must detach themselves and dissociate themselves from the experience of phenomena and detach their mind from all phenomena. This process of detachment and dissociation brings forth further obscuration and concealment of the light of Being.
As If is As If - The Drama of Pretend!
Now in light of this preoccupation with detachment and dissociation from phenomena as method, the transcendentalists intentionally practice dissociation from form, from phenomena, and from appearance. Detachment and dissociation become the focal praxis of transcendental path of self-liberation. This happens within the transcendent traditions whatever the religious connotation.
Through this intentional continuous practice of dissociation and detachment from phenomena and from appearance of forms, the result is that the very sense of phenomena in time, becomes to be felt as unreal and the sense of phenomena is experienced as delusion. Moreover, through the continuation of this relentless process of detachment and dissociation, the innate experiential ongoing sense of self as ongoing continuity of Being comes to be felt and to be thought of as unreal and a deluded experience. This continuous dissociative process unfolds eventually into the sense of de-realization and depersonalization. This sense of de-realization and depersonalization is the result of continuous dissociation and detachment phenomenologically.
The sense of depersonalization in time pervades everything and anything. The ongoing experience of one’s personal self and one’s own personal environment or personal world is felt to become unreal. Our experience of our companions and those we love is unreal. Our experience of the world as unreal, our own self is unreal.
The transcendentalist’s perception of the validity of human experience is that all human experience is illusion. All human experience is unreal. Everything and anything phenomenological or experiential is unreal. Our life becomes depersonalized or impersonal or non-personal. We live in a detached kind of witness consciousness. A kind of peeping. Witness consciousness is a form of peeping.
Love of the beloved is considered as a deluded perception, as all perception is considered deluded within the transcendental view. The unfolding psychological sense of depersonalization becomes pervasive and becomes a philosophical religious dogma. The impersonal detached view is the transcendental view. The objectified and objectifying witness is the transcendental view. This objectified view is self- inflicted by the process of dissociation and detachment resulting in depersonalization and the sense of unreality or de-realization. This experience of psychological dissociation has become a philosophical assumption and philosophical dogma. This philosophical assumption becomes a distorted view of the experience of life. This is liberation through indifference. The transcendental hermeneutic is the hermeneutics of what is not.
Depersonalization and de- realization is psychological distortion and pathological distortion of human experience. Depersonalization and de-realization greatly limit the depth and range of human relatedness and obscures and conceals the felt sense of Being within our own self as well as the self of others and the world itself.
Depersonalization arises from the sense of separation from self and the separation from the person’s environment and world. De-realization is the sense of unreality of one’s self and one’s world. These experiences are distortions of personal sense of self and a person’s sense of reality. This view becomes a culturally established experience of dissociative distortions that are both personal as well as cultural. Depersonalization and de-realization are distortions of the experience of the sense of the real and can be brought about by the personal and cultural spiritual practice of dissociation and detachment.
The traditional transcendental view of phenomena is to discount both the validity of phenomenological experience of the world; and also to discount the validity of phenomenological experience of continuity of self as the field of Being itself. So what alone remains is void. Void alone is real. Void alone exist. The void for the transcendentalist is not the luminous spaciousness of primordial awareness that self- manifesting everything and anything. Rather, within this dissociated experience the sense of self is not an actuality and neither is the world an actuality.
The self of the beloved is an illusionary experience. And so the person remains in this void like context until they cease to be. Ceaselessness is both outcome and aspiration of the transcendental life. This path of the void is the path of self- negation. Self- negation is even considered a condition for self- liberation. Self-negation is virtuous. The luminous experience of “I am-ness” is considered to be false and narcissistic. This transcendental view unfolds into foundational distortion that conceals the light of Being that is in us as us. Aham Ah. “I am that I am” is an expression of experiencing our own self as Being and the field of luminous Being. As Donald Winnicott the great psychoanalyst of transitional awareness describes the self as an ongoing continuity of Being
Hiding and Concealing
This transcendental view is not tantric view of that the bliss of Being overcomes suffering. This is not the tantric view of the experience that the Bliss of Samadhi is the bliss of the world. This is not the exquisite non-dual understanding that God or divinity dwells within you as you. This is not the view that divinity dwells within the world as the world. This is not the view of immanence of Being and the embodiment of Being as a being the doorway of self -liberation. This transcendental view hides the view that the field of Being is both within our own embodied mind and self; as well this view hides the luminous field of Being of the world and the luminous field of Being of all the beings within this world.
As If and Pretending
The transcendental path is a path of ‘as if’. As if means everything is but not really. We will live with the assumptions and view that our self and our experience and our world of appearance and phenomena to be unreal but we will pretend as if it is real. This ‘as if’ drama is the drama of acting as if there is otherness and as if there is self and as if there is phenomenological world. We pretend as if everyone we know and love is actually real. We pretend as if our experience is real. The transcendental assumption and understanding is everything is unreal and our human experience is foundationally deluded. This is a very strange situation and a distorted contextualization of our life. This view invalidates experience and obscures the ontological dimension of our existence as a being in the luminous field of phenomena as Being.
The transcendental approach normalizes lack, and normalizes emptiness in its stoicism and the transcendental view relentlessly makes sacred the method of dissociation. This is liberation through negation. Negation of self and negation of otherness and negation of experience. This is the path of what is not and not what is. What is not is absence? Transcendental liberation is the path of absence, the path of what is not. Transcendentalism is also the path of as if. This view obscures the actuality of the manifestation of the field of Being as our experience of what is.
Liberation through Transcendence
Nonetheless, in spite of the limitations and incompleteness, the transcendental view can be liberating. Although the transcendental view obscures the Being of phenomena and the Being of appearance, and the Being of our experience, and the Being of our world and the Being of those we love, the transcendental path does not conceal Pure Being itself within itself. The transcendental view opens up for us through our experience of emptiness into the experience of pure Being in and of itself. This is a path of absence. The path of negation. And through the process of detachment and dissociation from phenomena both internal and external, the subtle transcendental experience of Pure Being is experienced as source and as pure potentiality.
In this sense no thingness is the potential space for self- liberation. Pure Being is pure luminous emptiness or pure potentiality. Being is not a being but the pure potentiality of Being. The space of pure potentiality can be discovered through the pure transcendence of everything and anything. With our dissociation from everything and anything what remains is pure Being. What alone remains is pure Being.
Thus emptiness as absence is beyond words and letters and cannot be placed in language. This transcendental purity of Being is beyond everything and anything. It is beyond everyone and anyone. The purity of pure Being is beyond thought, beyond representation and beyond conceptualization. In the truest sense and deepest sense, the transcendental Pure Being is beyond experience. It is beyond symbolization. Pure Being is beyond manifestation. Pure Being is beyond beings. Pure Being is beyond phenomenology. There is no phenomenology of Pure Being. There is no experience or experiencer of pure transcendental Being.
Transcendental Being is beyond phenomenological experience. Transcendence is a path that goes beyond phenomenology. Being both is and yet is not anything. Potentiality both is and is not yet anything. This pure Being has no phenomenological reference. There is no thought and no understanding. This is the purity of Transcendentalists. This is Purity of Being beyond beings. This is the purity of Being beyond manifestation. The Purity of Being beyond creative manifestation. This Pure Being is beyond logos. The Purity of Being is beyond experience. The transcendental emptiness is beyond experience, beyond non conceptual experience. The experience of transcendental emptiness is a non-experience, an absence of experience.
In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition the question arose as to whether the Buddha has gnosis. And the studied answer of Rongzompa the 11 th century master was No! The Buddha does not have gnosis. The text Rongzompa’s Discourse on Buddhology by Orna Almogi elaborates this discussion and the conclusion of “No”.
The Buddha is Pure Being. Transcendentalism is beyond subjectivity. There is no subjectivity and no experiencer within the transcendental realm.
Transcendentalism is a most ancient form of liberation. Transcendentalism is most often a monastic form of liberation. Transcendentalism is expressed in many different spiritual and religious traditions. Transcendentalism is located in both the east and western traditions of religion. Transcendental liberation is beyond our mind and beyond embodiment and beyond the world. Our mind cannot relate directly to this dimension. Our mind cannot not think or conceptualize this dimension.
So within the person who experiences Pure Being, the person’s mind cannot truly think or know or understand this experience which is beyond their mind. So a person detaches from their mind to know this Purity of Being. More dramatically, their very awareness dissolves into the Purity of Being. The person dissolves into Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The person detaches from the phenomenology of their own being. Their awareness dissolves into Being. This dimension is beyond culture, beyond mind, beyond subjectivity.
Theology beyond Being
In theistic traditions, this transcendental understanding is close to Meister Eckhart’s “the God beyond God”. This transcendental understanding is close to the contemporary French phenomenologist Jean-Luc Marion work on “God beyond Being.” This experience (perhaps non-experience would fit better) of divinity is beyond incarnation, beyond embodiment. This transcendental understanding is beyond belief and beyond disbelief. God is a non-experience. Being becomes a non- experience.
The transcendental view is beyond the generational hermeneutic field. There is no transmission of knowingness from one person to another, one generation to another. This dimension of existence, is Being itself prior to manifestation and this dimension can- not be embodied. The transcendental process is a disembodying process. So in truth the person leaves this dimension of ordinary life world to use Husserl language, and transcends the intentional human mind. In language of Dzogchen the person leaves the dimension of Nirmanakaya (ordinary life world) goes beyond the Sambogakaya dimension, (archetypal field) and dissolves personal awareness into Dharmakaya, as pure emptiness, as Pure Being prior to all manifestation.
This is a path of dissolving. This is the path of no mind. This is the path of non- experience. This is the path of the dissolving of personal awareness into pure Being. Life takes place in Nirmanakaya, life takes place through Sambogakaya and life dissolves into Dharmakaya. Life dissolves into pure timeless potentiality. This is timeless potentiality beyond mind and beyond personal awareness. This is timeless potentiality beyond subjectivity and beyond time.
The transcendental experience of Pure Potentiality is in essence beyond manifestation, beyond movement, beyond knowingness, beyond expression. In Pure Potentiality there is no time and there is no actuality. This is non- experiential based non-actuality. Perhaps this is the metaphor of ancient Buddha mind. Or perhaps this the metaphor of ancient Shiva on the frozen mountain may have this unmoving signification. And Buddha sitting impervious of everything and anything under the Bodhi tree. Buddha beyond mind and beyond action. Buddha beyond experience. Buddha beyond time. Buddha beyond gnosis.
Being beyond Knowing
In the transcendental view Pure Being is beyond knowing. Nothing leaves Pure Being. There is no mind and there is no awareness and there is no knowing. There is no knowingness and no knower. In transcendental view of source, source is Pure Being in non- manifestation. In the view of immanence ground awareness is Pure Being manifesting everything and anything. Immanence is the philosophy of manifestation. Transcendentalism is the philosophy of absence.
Being without Becoming
Can there be Being without Becoming? Can there be pure potentiality without manifestation? Does Being exist without becoming and manifestation? Can Being be without manifestation? Can Being be without awareness? These questions arise from and within the realm of the philosophy of immanence.
Phenomenology Disappears and Frozenness Remains
I have presented this Pure Being beyond becoming as this is how transcendence is discussed and elaborated. Yet there is something frozen and unreal about this elaboration. Phenomenology ceases. There is only cessation. Cessation is the aspiration of transcendental philosophy. And so I wonder if this frozenness is not a function of the very method that leads a person into this transcendental place, this placeless place. I wonder if the process of dissociation, depersonalization, and detachment opens this profound dimension of non- experience. In essence ultimately dissociation and detachment is the realm of non- experience.
Perhaps the path of detachment and dissociation actually obscures the totality of Pure Being. Obscures and conceals the phenomenology of Pure Being’s ceaseless self- manifestation. This non- experience of Being as manifestation is perhaps the very function of the process of dissociation and brings forth the non-experience of frozenness in timelessness.
In the way of the transcendental tradition, there is an intentional commitment to non- movement and non-creativeness and non-manifestation of Transcendental Being. Within source there is foreclosure of movement, foreclosure of manifestation. There is no self- manifestation. There is only some sort of imaginary display, an ‘as if’ display. By whom or what is this display? This language of the transcendental display is the language of non-self-manifestation of Being, the non-manifestation of actuality. This would be language of phenomena as a display is the language of ambivalence and the dissociation of self-manifestation of Being. There is this terrible inexplicable gap of ambivalence between the transcendental Being and beings. This gap is the profound obscuration of Being. There is a gap of action between transcendental Pure Being and beings. This is the gap of the lack of continuity and oneness. This gap is concealment.
In transcendentalism Pure Being is Pure Being without knowingness. This is Pure Being-ness without manifestation. This position is one of ontological hiddenness, and ontological concealment. Nothing can be seen, nothing can appear, nothing can be thought and nothing can be experientially understood. So you may not experience this Pure Being although you are Pure Being even at this very moment.
Transcendental Traditions and Love
Of course even in these various dissociative and transcendent traditions love still remains. Love is relentless and will not disappear. And so the one thing or one person or one symbolic experience a person can love in these dissociative traditions is the leader. The leader is the teacher. And so the leader as teacher will love the students like children. In the transcendental metaphor the love of adults as little children is used repetitiously. This patriarchal view is described in great detail in the Tibetan text: The “Words of My Perfect Teacher,” which is a 19th century Nyingma text by Patrul Rinpoche. This view of leader teacher–student relationship fashions a patriarchal theocentric state which becomes a substitution for the natural immanence of luminous reality as the phenomenological field of Being.
Lordship and Bondage
Many eastern as well as western transcendental traditions embrace the patriarchal theocentric drama described here. Hegel in his Phenomenology of Spirit describes this drama as Lordship and Bondage. In Lacanian psychoanalytic language this patriarchal form is the institutionalization of the symbolic function of the name of father. The symbolic function of the name of the father is domination, objectification and subjugation. The symbolic function is activated within the personality and within the culture. The symbolic function of the name of the father is activated in spite of the personality of the person with whom and over whom the symbolic function is activated. Such is the power of the symbolic realm within the understanding of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Patriarchal drama is the drama of Lordship and Bondage.
Love is Suspect
In Patrul Rinpoche’s classic book, “Words of My Perfect Teacher,” the love between practitioners is discouraged because of the suffering caused by loss of the beloved. Death defeats love in Patrul Rinpoche monastic and ecclesiastical opinion. The great 20th century tantric female Tibetan Dzogchen master Sera Khandro describes in her great text “Love and Liberation” that love exists beyond death and love itself liberates us from death. She lived in the field of awareness and loved Being within the being of her beloved companion who was a great Lama. Through her experiencing love she came to directly experience the indestructibleness of true love which is the nature of Being. She wrote an exquisite text about the refinement of perception that allows her to experience the light of Being within all beings. Her lover’s great grandfather was Dudjom Lingpa, the founder of the Dudjom lineage. The Dudjom lineage is the lineage of the Purity of All Phenomena as Pure Being. Yes, Phenomena is Pure Being. To experience all phenomena as Pure Being is self-liberation.
The Function of the Institutionalization of Hiddenness and Concealment
In the monastic forms of transcendentalism, love is always suspect and the exception is the love of the master or teacher. Love is considered as an attachment, and attachment is in great opposition to the process of detachment and dissociation. Desire itself seems to be in intrinsic opposition to path of detachment and dissociation. Actually desire itself is the manifestation of the fullness of Being in its manifestations.
Love Is the Bond of Being to beings and beings to Being.
Actually the bond of love is the bond of Being to beings and beings to Being. Transcendentalists deeply mistrust this understanding. Again and again in transcendental traditions detachment and dissociation are the primary singular method. Dissociation is also a method of disembodiment and results in disembodiment of our innermost self of awareness as awareness. As we disembody from our innermost sense of luminous awareness as self, there simultaneously arises the actual disembodiment of the actual sense of the reality of experience. This view of human experiences as unreal becomes a dogma like assumption in most forms of eastern transcendentalism. The same lack is implied in many forms of western Christian transcendentalism.
Concealing the Actuality of Phenomena and Actuality of Knowingness!
Transcendentalism conceals the actuality of phenomena as the non-dual manifestation of Pure Being. Phenomena as a form of Pure Being is hidden in transcendentalism. Transcendentalism conceals the actuality of phenomena as Pure Being. Transcendentalism conceals the actuality of Pure Being as knowingness. Transcendentalism obscures Being as awareness. Transcendentalism conceals and obscures the self- manifestation of Being as everything and anything. Transcendentalism conceals the manifestation of primordial awareness as Being. Transcendentalism conceals and obscures the non-duality of Being and knowingness. Transcendentalism obscures and conceals the experience of duality within non-duality and within non- duality the experience of duality. When the Dakini says to Dudjom Lingpa “You and I are indivisible” this is not a transcendental moment, this is the experience of profound immanence.
The Dialectic of Transcendence and Immanence as the Dialectic of Absence and Presence
The unfolding dialect of transcendence and immanence be can understood in light of the phenomenology of absence and the phenomenology of presence. The phenomenology of absence is the phenomenology of transcendence. And the phenomenology of presence is the phenomenology of immanence.
Within the philosophy of transcendentalism the focus is on emptiness as source and within the philosophy of immanence the focus on luminous spontaneous knowing presence as luminous source. The unfolding experience of transcendental experience and transcendental understanding is the unfolding experience of emptiness as absence. The unfolding experience and understanding of immanence is luminous spontaneous presence. Spontaneous presence is the presence of spacious radiant light as knowingness. Spontaneous presence is also energy, creative energy manifesting everything and anything as luminous presence.
At times the transcendental experience of the presence of absence may at times intertwine with the experience of absence as presence. We may focus on this phenomenology of presence and absence both within our subjective awareness and within our experience of external phenomena.
In the transcendental tradition the emptiness of phenomena means the absence of presence within phenomena, and as phenomena. In the tradition of immanence, presence is phenomena and presence is within phenomena. In the tradition of the immanence of presence, the immanence of presence is within our experience as our own luminous awareness as well as within our experience of phenomena. ( both internal and external). In the transcendental tradition the absence of presence is the experience of lack. Our own awareness is now the experience of lack as emptiness.
In transcendental understanding there is an absence within phenomena. There is an absence of Being within phenomena. There is the absence of divinity within phenomena. There is an absence of actuality within phenomena. There is the absence of light within phenomena. Phenomena is lack, and phenomena within transcendentalism is intrinsically absent of light. The essence of phenomena is emptiness in sense of nothing there, the absence of being. Phenomena is the absence of presence and phenomena is the absence of actuality. Absence alone remains.
Immanence and Self Manifestation
In the tradition of immanence Being is and Being is self- manifesting phenomena and beings as phenomena. There is divinity within all phenomena and as all phenomena. There is actuality within phenomena and as phenomena. Phenomena is being and all beings are the field of Being.
In the transcendental understanding of subjectivity there is only absence. Awareness is absence. Awareness is emptiness. In transcendentalism there is an absence of Being within subjectivity. Even the sense of presence within subjectivity is the sense of absence. Within subjectivity there is the only presence of absence. Within the experience of phenomena there is only the presence of absence. This absence is actually absence within anything and everything. This absence is no-thingness as nothingness. There is the absence of Being within phenomena. This is the transcendental concealment of Being.
The Presence of Immanence and Immanence of Presence
In the immanence of subjectivity there is presence within subjectivity as awareness. Awareness is the presence of Being. This is the presence of Being as the presence of subjectivity. The presence of subjectivity is the presence of awareness. The presence of subjectivity is the presence of Being, pure Being. Within the presence of subjectivity is the presence of Being as the presence of direct knowingness.(Gnosis,Jnana ) The presence of subjectivity is the presence of Being as pure potentiality; pure potentiality of Being as I am. Pure Being is pure knowingness. You and I are pure knowingness. You and I are pure presence. You and I are indivisible as light, as presence and as Being. This is the path of un-concealment of self-revelation.
With the arising forth of the wonderful Uttara Tantra during the 4th century presence is manifested both within subjectivity and within phenomena. The potential presence of wisdom gnosis is latent within subjectivity. And with sequences of actualization this presence becomes fully present within human subjectivity and within the phenomena of the world of sentient beings.
From within this unfolding, there is still more unfolding of the understanding of the Tantra over time, especially in the 8th century Tibet and India. The Dzogchen Tantras as well as the Tantras of Kashmir Shavism are the manifestation of spontaneous presence arising both within human subjectivity and within the world as phenomena. Divinity is now manifesting not as absence but as presence. Presence within awareness. Presence within embodiment, and presence within the world. Divine presence as world. Divine embodied presence is humanness.
Dzogchen Tantras as the Field of Luminous Immanence
With the coming forth of the Dzogchen Tantras, the understanding is experienced that spontaneous presence is pervasive. This pervasive presence is the purity of Being which is the purity of knowingness. Even the initial experience of absence or lack is the beginning opening into the unfolding experience of presence of the luminous spaciousness of primordial knowingness. The experience of absence is the doorway into unfolding experience of luminous spaciousness, luminous knowingness, luminous fullness, and luminous presence. The kayas are no longer dimensions of absence but are the different dimensions and forms of divine presence. The world and the reality of the world is divinity as presence. This is the world as the field of luminous immanence.
The world of immanence is a world of knowingness, knowing awareness within everything and everyone. The world of immanence is a world of self-illumination. The world of immanence is experiencing the world as the field of Being. The Dzogchen world is the world of immanence. The phenomenology of immanence opens the concealment and obscurations of transcendentalism. In this world of immanence phenomena is luminous and trans-lucid just as our own innermost awareness is luminous and trans-lucid. Immanence is the field of Being and this field is the field of radiance and light. Ordinary life is the field of radiance and light. Yes, as the Kashmir Shavite yogi declares: “The bliss of Samadhi is the bliss of the World.” Transcendence conceals Being and immanence reveals Being. Yes, transcendental philosophy conceals Being in its manifestation and philosophical immanence reveals Being in its self-manifestation.
Being as Phenomena
Phenomena is Being in singularity. The light of Being is the form of phenomena. The radiance of Being is the experience of the phenomena. The radiance of Being is the knower of the phenomena. Every experience is the manifestation of Being. Within all experience Being is manifesting, radiating and glowing.