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


Self Liberation in Phenomenology and Dzogchen, Essays


By Rudolph Bauer, Phd Wed, Oct 23, 2013

Rudolph Bauer Ph.D., Author

Our .personal innermost awareness is our very own subjectivity . Our subjectivity is our awareness and awareness is our subjectivity. Aham ah! I am becoming who I am!. This subjectivity is not the subjectivity of the mind. Such mind based subjectivity is of mind alone. Such subjectivity is bound like I am my mind or I am my thinking function or I am my feeling function or I am my sensation function, I am memory function. This subjectivity of mind is limited and contained and is often called the ego and is locked into duality. Western phenomenology undersands that person must know the difference between their mind and their awareness. In the upadesha instructions of dzogchen there is the admonition that it is necessary to experience the difference between your awareness and your mind. In this way you can directly and easily know that your very own innermost awareness is the manifestation of primordial awareness itself. The primordial ground manfiest within us as our own awareness. Primordial awareness manifest within us as us. This self recognition can and does take place easily. This awareness is not the mind or the functions of the mind . Nonetheless the mind can be an expression of this awareness field. The essential method of dzogchen is by becoming aware of awareness we experience directly the manifestation of ground awareness, pure awareness. To know awareness as awareness is to know primordial awareness what ever the context,whatever the dimension.

In experiencing awareness we soon discover that awareness is a field whose qualities are spaceousness or emptyness, energy, light and the resonance of compassion.. The vajrajana tradition describe this field quality as dbying. Western phenomenology as expessed by later Husserl, later Heidegger and Merleau Ponty all converge on the profound field qualities of awareness. And although this awareness is not simply our body or mind, this pervasive field of awareness manifest completely within our body and mind.

This primordial awareness is not a thing, and neither is our own personal awareness a thing. Our innermost awareness is not a thing. Awareness is no thingness from which everything and anything arises. Our own personal awareness is not a thing , and from within our no thingness everything and anything can arise.No thingness is the potential space within our own awareness. Since this awareness is not a thing does not mean it does not exist. Awareness exist as who. A human being is a who, who is no thing. The who is not an entity although the

who is contained within a thing of mind and the thing of body and thingness of circumstances .Being a human being is paradoxical we are no thingness within thingness. We are not an entity within the entity of mind an body

You are a who. In knowning the who of your own awareness you can know the who in the awareness of another person. And in knowing the who in the other person you can know the who in yourself. You can love the who in the other.This recognition of whoness is the great compassion. In knowing the who whether in your self or in the other you are actually meeting and knowning and recognizing primordial awareness manifestation as who, as pure potentiality

of this singular whoness who is no thingness.. This is natural knowning of whoness in sensient beings is more often then not a prereflective knowing, a knowing that is direct without reflection and without the understanding of representational mind. We can naturally know the experience of whoness without all kinds of linguistic signifiers. The who of the mother experiences so directly and profoundly the who of the baby, and the who of the baby is brought forth by the moms experiencing the whoness within the baby as the baby. This is the process of natural realization of divinity with and as human beings.

This recognition and experience of whoness in ones self and whoness in the other is actually the experience of primordial awareness within us and within the other. As the great master of awareness Swami Muktananda so often said god dwells within you and you and see god in each other. This is divinity as primordial awareness manifesting as the world and as us.

Sometimes .we experience whoness which is no thingness as thingness..In experiencing the person as a thing whoness disappears. The structure of mind that fosters this unhappy change we will call and use the metaphor of the superego . The superego has something to do with this unhappy turn of events. There is often the transition from whoness to thingness in human experience.when we loose our sense of being in our awareness ..We can relocate our sense of being a subject within mind alone. When we are in mind alone we can be organized by the minds conscious and unconscious structure which contemporary psychology calls the superego.

When we are subsumed into structure of our mind of the superego we become a thing and all otherness becomes things. The superego is a developmental structure of judgementalness. This judgmentalness is often primitive and pervasive. The superego is preoccupied with Right and Wrong, Good and Evil , Better and Best, and Truth and Falsity.This judgmentalness splits all phenomena into the polarities just described. This judgmentalness judges everything and every person. The superego is preoccupied with security and survival and is an attempt to contain the primitive terrors of deprivation and annihilation.

The superego creates whoness into thingness.This judgmentalness permeates clericalism and fundamentalism in so many forms of human experience. The life of marriage, the life of parenting, the life of families, the life of so many human organizations such as religion, corporations, tribal life on and on. God becomes a thing, and awareness becomes a thing and all whos become things. For instance in corporations there are no whos but economic signifiers as things. In this way corporations and religions are very similar in there allegiance to superego constructions and cruelty based ethics..


The who is the qualities of awareness…spaceousness, luminousity or clarity , compassion and energy. To know the who is to naturally bring forth compassionate perception. To know the mind of the who is not the same as knowning the who. The mind of the who can often become a thing, both the judge and judge become thingness.

Judgement can make a who into a thing. Both the who who judges the who and the who who is being judged becomes things. Groups of whos are easily be made into things. Groups of whos can easily make us into things. Some historical epochs are completely thingfields. Parents easily treat the little whos as little things.

When a person is no longer a who and everyone is a thing, then absolutely everything and anything can be done to the who things.Genocide is the killing of thingness, entire fields of whos are very bad things. So too children can become bad things in light of manical minds of judgementalness.

Psychopathicness is not simply the lack of superego as some naïve people think. In fact psychopathicness is the lack of the experience of whoness in ones self and the other. If you do not know whoness in yourself you can not know who ness in the other. Many if not most people know whoness within themselves in a particular context and then outside that context whoness disappears. Judgementalness destroys the perception of whoness in ones own self..

Whoness is space. The space of the who is the space of awareness.The greater the spaceousness the more the knowner can experience and embrace experience, all experience. Space is the great inclusiveness. The field of awareness is space,vast unbound space. If there is no space or only a tiny bit of space in the who, then the limited space of who can only experience so much, embrace so much experience. A tiny whoness is easily disturbed. The less

there is space of awareness then the more the who will depend on judgement and separates experience into good and bad, right and wrong, better and best and truth or falsity compulsively and relentlessly, and unendingly. So many whos who do not cultivate the space of their awareness and located in mind alone distance themselves from experience of everything and anything including the whoness in themselves and in others. Such whos are ambilvalent and often distance or dissociate themselves from the range of manifestation of the presencing of primordial awareness.They use the method of dissociation and divinize this dissociative approach to human experience as the virtue of detachment. This detachment reflects their ambilvalence to the range of human experience and engagement. This detachment allows the who to be neither here nor there. The who is especially afraid of the power of love and the consuming presence of love. The presence of love is the presence of the primordial ground.

The whoness is a field and the more vast the field and unbound the field then the who can directly enter the whoness of the other and experience the natural indivisibllity between the me who and the you who. The capacity of the who to extend its self is actually beyond the physical boundaries of the body. And so the whoness is in a certain way non local and can extend through space and beyond the boundaries. The place of the who can be extended and inclusive.

Sometimes whos hid themselves in solipsism and in doing so become contained and locked in whoness. And their indivisibility with all whos become only a thought or a good idea. The who has depth and breath and vast range..The range of awareness of the who is ultimately the unbound range of primordial awareness, the dharmakaya.

The superego of psychoanalysis is the languaging of a mental structure of mind that can contain the who and creates the base of who as the mind of judgementalness. The who may thinks discernment and wisdom discrimination is actually a judgement which is an act of the mind and not awareness not whoness. Actually judgment takes the person outside of whonesss ever so briefly and subtly. To be in whoness is actually to see rather directly and translucently. Whoness and gnosis are naturally in oneness. Clearly. Whoness can enter a whoness and know without distance.

The who can experience non duality. Knowning non duality is so direct that secrets and situation are unveiled directly. The whoness can experience non duality within duality. When whoness enters whoness the non duality of whoness is manifest. This non duality of whoness takes place within the duality of circumstances and differentiated personality of mind and body within which is whoness. Ultimately realization is experience the completeness and vast of whoness.

To be a who is to be both in duality and non duality. Often a who does not know that it is in non duality. Baby whos know this easily if there is good enough circumstances. Since primoridial awareness itself is a vast who the more one becomes aware of awareness the more the whoness of universe becomes evident. All of the infinite and singular events who reflect the vast singular actuality of whoness which is primordial awareness.

The primitive affective states that are often contained and manifested within the super ego are deprivation and annihilation. And of course you can be on either side or both sides . You can be both deprived and depriving and having the terror of annihilation and imposing the terror of annihilation on another. Guilt is a sense of both. O lord I am not worthy,say but the word and my soul shall be healed. Unworthiness is actually deprivation..i am not enough and will suffer annihilation or should be annilated. The superego is not love but judgment and cruelty.The preedipal stage which is non conceptual and preverbal is deprivation and annihilation anxiety. The aedipal is at first glance achievement and accomplismnet and being in the world but i the back ground is failure ,deprivation and annihilatiion .

Religion is rather strange in that it recognizes the vast who which is great and then religion combines the knowningness of whoness with the great institutionalized superego of right and wrong. The human superego confabulates the very whoness of the big who as a big judgmental thing and makes all the little whos become things . Of course other whos become bad things who do not believe in the big who of one group of who’s .Of course religion treats awareness like a thing and so everything has to be counted…and accounted..and judged.

Religion likes and preoccupied with the death of the who.. Religion tells whos that if you mess up at death then you are in for it..A lot of escatalogical narratives are metaphors of cruely and the rage of judgementalness on the cosmological level. The realms of judgementalness of right and wrong, good and evil, better and best, truth and falsity with cruel and everlasting consequences.

Much of religion is the cultural formation of the superego…within religious tradtions There is a relentless judgmentalness.with eastern as well as western traditions. There is intrinsic tension between clericalism and shamanism, a tension between historical dogmatism and mysticism….a tension between truth as judgment and truth as revelation of Being within all beings.


We will use transliterations of the dzogchen trantric text The All Creating Sovereign. The text declares When the rupakaya(forms as archetypical(SAMBOGAKAY) and the dimension of flesh(NIRMANAKAYA) appears objectively ,that is the manifestation of my Being.

I am the all creating sovereign , and you self liberate yourself through me and you will be seen by my eyes. I gaze both into them and through them. When the experiences of the mind are articulated through language ,then this is the elaboration of my Being. All language indicate Being. Whether you pursue me or not this is the sound of who I am.

if you are able to sustain your experience of wisdom awareness which is remaining in awareness of awareness then original ground is experienced as presencing all the infinitely different experiences of form, sight ,sound and the sensory stimuli. And even if you are not in aware of awareness then you are still experiencing the original ground manifesting all the infiintie and different experiences. To know directly the all creating monarch is to sustain wisdom awareness . And even if wisdom awareness is not sustained you are still knowning me directly even if you do not know that.

By staying in luminous spaceous knowningness with whatever phenomena is presenting itself is to know me directly and easily. Yes you can know me through all phenomena as well as through innermost awareness. There is the manifestation of innermost awareness as you and the manifestation of innermost awareness as everyone else, all who’s.

When all kinds of thoughts occur within the who , this is the sublime nonconceptual samdhi of who I am. All thoughts are manifestations of the whoness of me. I am not a thing I am not thingness although I manifest everything and within every who as a who. Primordial awareness manfiest both mind and body and circumstances and the who who is embodied in time and space and circumstance. The who is a place. The place of the who is a you or I.

The mind grasping and fixated can hide and lose the sense of the who. Nonetheless the who I am will still be present, I am always present wheither I am known or not. Even the grasping and fixation is none the less who I am. I am the who of all the whos. Wherever a who is, I am.

Written by Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. A.B.P.P.

The Washington Center for Consciousness Studies


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