Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existance&am

Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existance&am Jeffrey S 7/12/10 10:07 PM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Bruno Loff 7/13/10 2:43 AM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Trent . 7/13/10 4:12 AM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Bruno Loff 7/14/10 2:01 AM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Trent . 7/14/10 2:49 AM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Bruno Loff 7/14/10 9:26 AM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Trent . 7/14/10 6:57 PM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Jeffrey S 7/14/10 9:26 PM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Jeffrey S 7/17/10 12:29 AM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Craig N 7/17/10 1:49 AM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Jeffrey S 7/17/10 3:36 AM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Daniel Johnson 7/27/10 8:14 PM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Bruno Loff 7/28/10 4:57 AM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Jeffrey S 7/28/10 10:05 AM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Jeffrey S 7/28/10 10:14 AM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Daniel Johnson 7/29/10 1:59 PM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Daniel Johnson 7/29/10 1:55 PM
RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc Daniel M. Ingram 8/7/10 12:32 AM
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Jeffrey S, modified 12 Years ago at 7/12/10 10:07 PM
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Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existance&am

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Hey there Dho’ers.

More out of irritation that nobody seems to get what is going on than because of anything else, I’ve decided to type out three or four pages from AH Amaas’ book The Point of Existance and give you all a glimpse of what AF is about and what it’s relation to arhatship is. Yes I’m being cocky, but I’m a simple anigami who is still allowed his precious defilements. My comments in brackets {} Please skip down to the bold text if you don’t need convincing that he is actually talking about AF. That’s where he discusses the relationship of AF to Arhatship. I've tried to make this as easy to read as possible.



[quoted from The Point of Existance, page 405-408, ending of Chapter 39]

{the author has just finished describing a case study with a student of his regarding what he calls “Pure Being”...}

Here we know ourselves as a presence totally pure and completely real. It is so pure it has no qualities; it is just the fact of beingness experienced as an ontological presence. This presence is clarity, lightness, transparency, all ineffable and precious in an indefinable way. It is so ineffable that it feels both empty and full simultaneously. There is the sense of being wide aware, with a fresh awareness and lucid perception.

In this manifestation of Being, we know Being in its purity, before differentiation and discrimination, before labeling and reaction. There are no differentiated qualities, but nothing is missing. We experience a completeness. It is as if all the qualities are present before differentiation. This is one of the first things we discover as we go through this level of narcissism {the author is referring to the subject of the book, which is transforming narcissism (a.k.a. ego) into self-realization}. Before this discovery, our experience of Being takes the form of one of its differentiated manifestations – like love, intelligence, or even identity – but now we know ourselves purely, before recognizable and conceptualizable qualities.

The other important discover we make at this point is the one that Anna had {from the case study described a few paragraphs ago}, which is that Being is inherently boundless. We experience this purity of presence as pervasive and infinite, and see, also, that it underlies everything. We come to see that pure Being is the essence and true nature of all manifestation, not only of the self. Further, we experience Being not only as the essence of everything, but as everything. It constitutes not only the core of everything, but the very substance and fabric of everything. It is a medium inside every object, outside it, and in between the outside and inside. It makes up the very substance of all physical objects, all mental objects, and all experienceable manifestations. It is the body, the feelings, the thoughts, the actions, the sounds, the sights, and the meanings, Being is everything.

At this level of realization, we come also to perceive the unity of all manifestation. Since Being is an indivisible medium (not composed of parts), it follows that everything makes up a unity, a oneness. There is one existence, as opposed to two, or many. It is merely an infinite presence that possesses a pattern. This pattern is everything we perceive, including all persons and objects. So everything is connected to everything; there exist no separate and autonomous objects or persons.

Another discovery is that we see this unity and oneness as our very self and identity. We experience: “I am everything. I am everyone, the bodies, thoughts and feelings of everybody, inseparable from all objects. I am the ground, essence, and source of everything.”

No wonder we have been longing for the dissolution of the separating boundaries {as in the case studys he provides}; the self intuited that the arising manifestation of Being is boundless and infinite. And no wonder we need to be seen as the most special. Pure Being is the most precious thing in reality because it is the preciousness of everything in reality. It is most special because it is the precious ground of everything that is special. In fact, it is what ascribes specialness to anything. This is the reason some students experience the narcissistic need as to be seen as the most special person.

The self knows unconsciously, or we could say intuitively, that its identity is the boundless pure Being, but it is still consciously identified with a separate entity. So even at this level of work, there are often big issues. For example, when this manifestation is arising and the student is feeling that she is the “most special” {here AH Almaas is referring to what happens BEFORE the experience, not afterwards. This is important, because feeling “most special” is what gets in the way of the real experience.}, when anyone else is treated in a special way, she feels hurt and wounded. So she knows she is the most special because she is the purity of Being, but becomes grandiose when she attributes this specialness to her conscious identification of herself as a separate individual {ego}. Clearly, the way to work with the situation effectively is not to judge her narcissistic need as grandiose and unrealistic, but to discover in that need information about the true self from which she feels alienated.

The narcissistic wound that arises here is for not being seen as the source of everything, of all knowledge, understanding, love value, preciousness, meaning, and existence. We are hurt about not being recognized as this supreme manifestation of Being, the one most worthy of love and admiration. It also reflects our own incapacity to see our true pure nature, as we are not yet realized at this level.

At this juncture, we understand that believing that we are separate individuals, or autonomous entities, rather than recognizing ourselves as the oneness of all existence, creates alienation from pure Being. To take oneself as ultimately a separate and autonomous person creates the supreme wound, which appears as an abyss, an abysmal chasm, that alienates us not only from our true nature, but also from everybody and everything. This is the supreme betrayal, and the beginning of endless suffering.

We also understand, here, the cosmic shell as the experience of the world devoid of its true nature, the infinite pure Being {once again, referring to case studies mentioned earlier}. Looking through the representational world, we see only a world devoid of Being.

The quality of infinity and omnipresence of identity at this level of experience eliminates duality. We experience Being not only as our true nature, but as the nature of everything. This means it is also the true nature of the ego-self. The pure presence of Being is the underlying ground both for aspects of Essence, and for structures of the self-ego. Both become seen as particular formations within the presence of pure Being.

{Okay, now here is where he touches upon Arhatship. Make your own call if he is talking about your own impressions of Arhatship. He has over 200 pages of this book dedicated to it in previous chapters, these quoted pages are part of the Actual Freedom chapters instead of Arhat since that’s the big topic on the forums nowadays…}

At this level, the movement from duality between Essence and personality is different from that involved in realizing the Essential Identity. In the realization of the Essential Identity, the student experiences the personality in the third person, as if from the outside, as the totality of the suffering individual. She experiences herself as a center of an awareness and presence separate from the individual person, relating to that person with compassion, love, and understanding. Or she experiences herself as a personality aware of the Essential Identity as an essential presence, characterized by the feeling of identity. There is duality in this experience.

In the process of realization of pure Being, the alternation is not between personality and presence, but rather between duality and unity. In duality, the student experiences herself as the totality of the ego-self, the personality, separate from the presence and resistant to it. She also experiences and understands it by being it. She experiences the movement of her ego-self directly, in all its details. She experiences it from within, in its totality, with a specific understanding of the nature of its functioning. This is in contrast to the experience of the personality in the dimension of the Essential Identity, where she experiences it from the outside, as the other who is struggling and suffering. In the dimension of pure Being, her understanding of the nature of suffering becomes more specific and complete.

The result is that the personality is not necessarily transformed in the self-realization of the Essential Identity; there is only the shift of its identity. The complete realization of pure Being involves a process of purification and clarification of the personality, until there is no difference between it and the purity of Being. The final outcome is the condition of unity in which we experience the personality (the ego-self) as inseparable manifestation of pure Being.



{END}



So what do you think? Does this seem reasonable? Answer any questions you have? Destroy the foolish notation that Richard is the first to discover PCEs and so on (this book was published 10+ years ago)?

Granted that Almaas goes about realization in a different, yet surprizingly simmilar, way to AF, it makes sense that he describes it differently. One side effect of this map is that Arhatship is completely required before AF. All AF people here have claimed Arhatship before AF, so it sould be easy to accept. AF is not just disidentifying from ego (a.k.a. Arhatship), but is in fact disolveing it completely. Like I said, over 500 pages of details and case studies from the thousands (yes thousands) of practicioners of the Ridhwan Foundation in this book, if you only just bother to go out and read it, which I highly recomend.
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Bruno Loff, modified 12 Years ago at 7/13/10 2:43 AM
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RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

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Of course, maybe it is just a matter of language, but I find that the sentences you quoted:

"We experience being", "pure being," etc

contrasts quite directly with the sentence, used to describe PCE, that

"there is no sensation of 'being' whatsoever."
Trent , modified 12 Years ago at 7/13/10 4:12 AM
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RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

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Hello,

Thanks for taking the time to post. I've separated out some portions and commented below.

Jeffrey S:

Here we know ourselves as a presence totally pure and completely real. It is so pure it has no qualities; it is just the fact of beingness experienced as an ontological presence.


This sounds more like arhatship then the condition of actual freedom. I experience no presence at all, let alone an "ontological" one. ("Ontology: the branch of *metaphysics* that studies the nature of existence or being as such" - Dictionary.com; emphasis added)

Jeffrey S:

In this manifestation of Being, we know Being in its purity, before differentiation and discrimination, before labeling and reaction. There are no differentiated qualities, but nothing is missing. We experience a completeness. It is as if all the qualities are present before differentiation. This is one of the first things we discover as we go through this level of narcissism {the author is referring to the subject of the book, which is transforming narcissism (a.k.a. ego) into self-realization}. Before this discovery, our experience of Being takes the form of one of its differentiated manifestations – like love, intelligence, or even identity – but now we know ourselves purely, before recognizable and conceptualizable qualities.


This sounds like what some people may refer to as either "no-dog" or "rigpa" or something similar to those ideas. I am utterly incapable of accessing that now, as it is (as mentioned) an aspect of "Being."

Jeffrey S:

We come to see that pure Being is the essence and true nature of all manifestation, not only of the self. Further, we experience Being not only as the essence of everything, but as everything. It constitutes not only the core of everything, but the very substance and fabric of everything. It is a medium inside every object, outside it, and in between the outside and inside. It makes up the very substance of all physical objects, all mental objects, and all experienceable manifestations. It is the body, the feelings, the thoughts, the actions, the sounds, the sights, and the meanings, Being is everything.


This sounds more like arhatship then the condition of actual freedom. "Not only of the self" is a pretty big tip-off and he goes on to demonstrate radical self aggrandizement (a chief characteristic of enlightenment) by stating it is "inside every object, outside it, and in between outside and inside...(etc)." And finally, he categorizes this "Being" along with things that are actually not "being," which alludes to a distinctly delusional interpretation of enlightenment which is virtually part and parcel of the condition itself.

Jeffrey S:

At this level of realization, we come also to perceive the unity of all manifestation. Since Being is an indivisible medium (not composed of parts), it follows that everything makes up a unity, a oneness. There is one existence, as opposed to two, or many. It is merely an infinite presence that possesses a pattern. This pattern is everything we perceive, including all persons and objects. So everything is connected to everything; there exist no separate and autonomous objects or persons.


And yet, when the "Being" and its' delusion of "oneness" went quietly into oblivion, I realized first-hand that I am clearly a distinct flesh and blood body, as are the other flesh and blood bodies I meet in my daily interactions. Next, being free from the human condition is to be utterly autonomous (free will). By saying that "there exist(s) no separate and autonomous objects or persons," he is demonstrating that he has surrendered his will entirely (again pointing to enlightenment, not actual freedom).

Jeffrey S:

Another discovery is that we see this unity and oneness as our very self and identity. We experience: “I am everything. I am everyone, the bodies, thoughts and feelings of everybody, inseparable from all objects. I am the ground, essence, and source of everything.”


Again, this is enlightenment.

I am not going to comment on the rest of these... I will just be repeating myself.

Jeffrey S:

So what do you think? Does this seem reasonable? Answer any questions you have? Destroy the foolish notation that Richard is the first to discover PCEs and so on (this book was published 10+ years ago)?


I think all of the above refers to enlightenment, and so the information provided doesn't appear to change anything. (Though I have never observed Richard claiming to have been the "first to discover PCE's" anyway...)

Jeffrey S:

AF is not just disidentifying from ego (a.k.a. Arhatship), but is in fact disolveing it completely.


If you substitute "AF" in this quote with "enlightenment," then the phrase is more accurate... AF is about much more than the "complete disolveing" of the ego. If the ego is dissolved through AF methods, it would be due to accidental misuse or as a byproduct of successfully ending "Being" entirely (the ego finds genesis in "Being"). This would be the case in persons whom were not enlightened prior to becoming AF.

Peace,
Trent
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Bruno Loff, modified 12 Years ago at 7/14/10 2:01 AM
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RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

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Trent:
And yet, when the "Being" and its' delusion of "oneness" went quietly into oblivion, I realized first-hand that I am clearly a distinct flesh and blood body, as are the other flesh and blood bodies I meet in my daily interactions. Next, being free from the human condition is to be utterly autonomous (free will). By saying that "there exist(s) no separate and autonomous objects or persons," he is demonstrating that he has surrendered his will entirely (again pointing to enlightenment, not actual freedom).


Well Trent, for me the kind of "oneness" experiences I have had did not take away the feeling of being autonomous, it wasn't about "autonomicity" at all. It was more like the sensation that I "belong" or "am part of" what is happening all around, instead of being "something existing somewhere else seeing what is happening through the window".

I don't think enlightened people "loose their free will," at least not judging by how they behave. They might, of course, act according to how they want to feel emotionally, rather than whatever motivates you to act.

Will is an aspect of AF which I never understood. Who knows, maybe one day I'll have a PCE and find out.
Trent , modified 12 Years ago at 7/14/10 2:49 AM
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RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

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Sup,

Bruno Loff:
I don't think enlightened people "loose their free will," at least not judging by how they behave. They might, of course, act according to how they want to feel emotionally, rather than whatever motivates you to act.


First off, I did not say "enlightened people lose their free will," I said he "has surrendered his will entirely." Second, humans are born driven by the instinctual passions, so the will was never free to begin with; enlightenment essentially fortifies the prison bars. What do you think is going on when enlightened folks "surrender to the divine?" What is being surrendered, eh? The instinctual identity and the possibility of its' stressful passionate responses looms large every moment of one's life until it is extirpated. Nearly every potential action is tempered with thoughts such as "will this endanger me?" or "will this endanger another (which would endanger "my" group and thus "me") and so on. One's identity restricts one's actual will, and so when one has eliminated the identity and freed the will, one's life is no longer screened and dictated by a fictitious script. A radical freedom indeed!

Best,
Trent
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Bruno Loff, modified 12 Years ago at 7/14/10 9:26 AM
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RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

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Let's say free will means "the ability to act according to one's decision."

If I decide to further specify what that means, I conclude that it means "The ability to apply sustained, unwavering attention to the subject matter one has decided to act upon."

So complete free will, according to this tentative definition, basically amounts to having perfect concentration.

You see, there is no contradiction, using this definition, with having feelings influence one's decisions. One "feels that one should do X," say, because one "hates or loves person Y," and then one decides to do it, and does it with concentration.

I can see ways in which feeling interferes with free will, but it basically amounts to the way it interferes with concentrating on doing what you have decided to do, or not?

In this sense, I see that AF gives a great boost to freedom (since feeling will no longer interfere), but isn't that just because you get more concentration?

Bruno
Trent , modified 12 Years ago at 7/14/10 6:57 PM
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RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

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Hello,

Bruno Loff:
Let's say free will means "the ability to act according to one's decision."


Okay... I think this works so long as we're clear that it would be referencing an actual human and not an identity (in other words, so long as it is realized that the context is one where delusion never existed to begin with; in the actual world).

Bruno Loff:
If I decide to further specify what that means, I conclude that it means "The ability to apply sustained, unwavering attention to the subject matter one has decided to act upon."


I don't see how this added bit is relevant, as one can and probably should periodically question one's own original decision, whether that decision was originally made via a freed will or not.

Bruno Loff:
So complete free will, according to this tentative definition, basically amounts to having perfect concentration.


I think it would be clearer to say that it basically amounts to having no interference at all by anything that is not actually me as I am-- a flesh and blood body. Which is to say: blind nature's instinctual survival package, and all else that had been piled on top of it (as it; incidentally "nature" and "nurture" are both "nature") is no longer a factor.

Bruno Loff:
You see, there is no contradiction, using this definition, with having feelings influence one's decisions. One "feels that one should do X," say, because one "hates or loves person Y," and then one decides to do it, and does it with concentration.


What's missing here is the recognition that those feelings are part and parcel the instinctual identity, which is an inborn delusion which influences decisions blindly for the survival of the species as a whole (although these same instincts are now threatening the species as a whole) and that it's always present (except for in a PCE or AF). And further, that what one is actually is a flesh and blood human being, a what; not the instinctual identity; a "who." When you feel that something is "me," or "I" feel something, do you realize that exact same "me" and "I" feeling is the same "me" and "I" feeling that other people have? In other words, there are 7 billion "me's" layering all sorts of crap over top the actual me that those people are. The identity "feels" personal, but it isn't. Decisions made by "me" are not actually via freed will, they are via blind nature. To elucidate it a bit further: the instinctual identity is composed of a swirl of feelings ("I" am "my" feelings and "my" feelings are "me"), and those feelings are the same regardless of the feeler: fear is fear regardless of the person feeling it, aggression is aggression regardless of the person feeling it, desire is desire regardless of the person feeling it, nurturing feelings are nurturing feelings regardless of the person feeling it.

Bruno Loff:
I can see ways in which feeling interferes with free will, but it basically amounts to the way it interferes with concentrating on doing what you have decided to do, or not?


I think this was answered in a round-about way above.

Bruno Loff:
In this sense, I see that AF gives a great boost to freedom (since feeling will no longer interfere), but isn't that just because you get more concentration?


It is not necessarily feeling that interferes, it is the identity. To answer your question: I guess it depends on how you look at it...seems more accurate to me to state: there is simply nothing to concentrate "through" anymore.

Regards,
Trent
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Jeffrey S, modified 12 Years ago at 7/14/10 9:26 PM
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RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

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Ah. See, I'm glad you pointed some of this out, because there's actually three or four chapters after this that delineate three or four more advanced states, and if what this chapter described is no-dog, then that would make a lot of sense. Those following chapters were waaay over my head tho, and clearly out of my experience (as this all kinda is, so I really, really appreciate your patience with me as I bring these up). I think that someone who has some been thru these deeper territories could make more sense of it.

There is talk about how one begins to experience an "Absence" which is an absence of presence, and then says that even this isn't the last state. It's followed by a state that is both absence of presence and presence at the same time which he calls the "Nameless" , and then talks about one or two more states which I couldn't make out. I personally have experience with Absence and with PCEs and I do notice the lack of presence in both, although they had very different feelings to them.

But all in all, I think he does describe Arhatship similarly to how you folks do, and I think you could agree with me even if all you've read is what I've quoted from the book.

Almaas also discusses the instictual drives as the very deepest part of the work and discusses overcoming them. He talks about it more in his book "Essence". It sounded like the "I" in any form or any psychological structures are actually what supports the instinctual drives .

--

Let me also mention this: Ego is by definition paranoid and suspicious, which sounded like Cycle Daniel on the other thread, and when he was in PCE mode he seemed a bit more cheerful and supportive (from my own perspective). That seems to me to be the difference between ego or not. I'm really really curious what you have to say about this. He did mention that he feels like a different person. It's quite possible we are talking about different definitions of 'ego'. I'm talking about ego as the source of all suffering and so on. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know whether Arhatship will disolve my sense of self completely or just dis-identify myself from it. I certainly got the impression that one can "forget" arhatship for short periods of time but is instantly available with slight inclanation.

When one is an arhat one no longer believes in a center of self that makes choices, but could you identify parts of you that might still believe in something to that effect or psychological structures that are dependent on that belief?


Also, Bruno, I want to keep this post centered around Almaas' work, so I'd appreciate it if you try and keep it like that. You could just quote what from this thread to another thread for other clarifications if you like.
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Jeffrey S, modified 12 Years ago at 7/17/10 12:29 AM
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RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

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Read this quote by Daniel:

One of the interesting things about arahatship is that is conveys this fantastic clarity about that particular form of unclarity, once one has a proper contrast between it and the PCE, and having gone back and forth probably 100 times in the last 4 months between the two, I think I get the two pretty well at this point, though there may yet be surprises and fine points, and I suspect there are.


Now if that doesn't suggest that Arhatship isn't complete freedom, then I don't know what does. I take what he calls unclarity as remaining ego structure. Once that is dissolved, then *poof*, you get AF. The above exscripts describe Arhatship, maybe the other chapters that talk about overcoming instincts and sense of "I" have to do with AF.

No to mention that Peter's guide on the path to actual freedom is EXACTLY how the diamond approach commences, and the diamond approach considers enlightenment only a side effect, as does AF.

When the methods are identical and the results are similar, hard to describe, and rare, then any intelligent person has to come to the same conclusion: They're talking about the same thing
Craig N, modified 12 Years ago at 7/17/10 1:49 AM
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RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

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Jeffrey S:
When the methods are identical and the results are similar, hard to describe, and rare, then any intelligent person has to come to the same conclusion: They're talking about the same thing


I have a book by A H Almaas, "Luminous Nights Journey" An Autobiographical Fragment.

He is definitely not trying to communicate actual freedom or the PCE. He is teaching enlightenment, no two ways about it. I think what causes confusion is reading descriptions of states of consciousness if we haven't experienced them ourselves - they can tend to all sound the same.

Here are some book titles of his that are clearly pointing to a spiritual goal:

Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment: The Diamond Approach to Inner Realization
Facits of Unity The Enneagram of Holy Ideas
The Inner Journey Home: Soul's Realisation of the Unity of Reality
The Pearl Beyond Price: Integration of Personality into Being
The Unfolding Now: Realizing your True Nature through the Practice of Presence

Have you had a PCE since coming across AF?

Repeated PCEs are the best way to get in tune with what's on offer in actual freedom. As long as you can't bring one on when you set your mind to it, it's a sign that you don't have a good grip on the actualism method. That's experience talking btw emoticon

I highly recommend you get out and try to experience some PCEs, and then see whether you think it lines up with what A H Almaas is teaching.

Craig
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Jeffrey S, modified 12 Years ago at 7/17/10 3:36 AM
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RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

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Hm. That really put my soul to rest more than the other posts. Yeah. I've had PCEs, but not for a long time. I think I'll go about experiencing them more to get a better understanding, although under no circumstances do I regret posting this here and I'm still holding out on giving up the belief that Almaas is talking about AF.

The book Essence clearly talks about overcoming what AF calls "The Human Condition" and his books are oriented around resolving the personal issues the same way that AF encourages you to solve them. In these two points I'm without doubt.
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Daniel Johnson, modified 12 Years ago at 7/27/10 8:14 PM
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RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

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I've read a number of books from Almaas and went to a weekend course at the Ridiwhan school in Berkeley. He's one of my favorite authors, as I love the detail he gives to his descriptions, and his maps are crystal clear maybe even more than MCTB. But, I've never quite been able to find the correlation between his maps and MCTB.

Most notably, I believe the map Almaas provides is a map of conciousness or a map of the mind, whereas MCTB offers a map of the path or the practice. Therefore, Almaas never mentions cycling, although he very very briefly mentions that the actual path of practice is non-linear. His maps are all linear, as they are the deeper stages of realization of mind.

One thing for sure is that Almaas has lined up The Absolute with the Buddhist Nirvana (or Nibbana). So, realization of The Absolute would equate to stream-entry. That much I'm clear on. Also, the goal of his path (the Diamond Approach) is very clearly stated as Self-Realisation. And, although he rarely uses the word "enlightenment"... after much searching through his material, it's pretty clear that his "Full Self-Realisation" equates to "Arahat."

He also states somewhere that he is not "fully" realized, so therefore would probably be an Anagami, unless that statement is now out of date.

Somewhere I think I read that you also have identified yourself by Almaas' map that you are an anagami, and unless you have hit the Absolute (Nibbana), and all the other stuff in MCTB, I'd doubt that claim. Which of course, I don't mean with any harshness, but just as a thought for you to consider. Or maybe I just misunderstood you.

So, that's how I map MCTB and Almaas.

Mapping AF and Almaas is a whole different issue, as even MCTB hasn't seemed to be able to map with AF yet. But, I'll give it a shot. Almaas uses extreme Capitalization. Everything special is the "Diamond Whatever..." Diamond Mind, Diamond Approach, Diamond Love, Diamond Will, etc... This is very opposed to AF. And, this is the "Self" that Richard talks about on the AF website which clearly Almaas hasn't penetrated (that is, if what Richard says is true... I'm not speaking from my own experience).

What's interesting is that Almaas is such an expert on narcisism, as you must know since you've read The Point Of Existence (amazing book by the way!) And, Almaas makes it very clear that one of the hallmarks of narcisism is grandiosity (among other characteristics). Almaas asserts that the reason for personal narcisism is that it is a reflection of a loss of Being. That Being is inherently perfect, and therefore we feel our loss of from Perfection and deal with that loss through our narcisistic strategies. The solution, then, is to let go of the narcisistic striving for grandiosity, such that we recognize a greater Presence.... The Diamond Presence, which is an aspect of Being.... and in Being we realize the perfection of our True Nature. This sounds awesome... until you read what Richard writes. Richard claims to go further... that there IS NO BEING! Wow! Fucking crazy! In fact, that seems to be the hallmark of Richard's new paradigm. There is no "Being" that is perfect, and no presence, and in fact the physical universe can be experienced in this present moment without any sense of a being either of the lower case being variety or the upper case Being variety. Almaas' work is littered with the words Being, and Soul, and Presence... but according to Richard, this is simply a grand grand delusion.

What seems to be so slippery is that this Being isn't narcisistic in the sense of a self and other relationship, it's a self without an other, it's a timeless and formless self, so it's not in relationship. So, it's not the typical form of narcisism (me vs. other)... but rather a deeper narcisism (Me vs. annihilation)

So, that's my take at least. I'm not an AF person though, and I just read the website for the first time last night. But, I'm a big fan of MCTB and Almaas, and have actually gone through the Diamond Approach work so have some experience with it.

Hope that clears it up, and still I agree with you that the Diamond Approach books are really incredible and what Almaas triumphs in is his ability to integrate psychology and spirituality into a very seemless path with no distinction between the two. This is, in fact, very different from MCTB which draws a hard line between psychology and spirituality. I believe both schools make a good point. And, I think that the psychology work in the Diamond Approach is more akin to insight practice than to mainstream psychology. It's really about an inquiry into our stuff to realize the Truth as it manifests in our stuff, which is really the same goal as MCTB as well.

What does seem similar throughout all three paths is that all of them have a very consistent emphasis on our present moment experience. ALL of them make a huge point of mentioning to come back again and again to the present to moment and to our present moment experience. But, from that point on they may differ.
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Bruno Loff, modified 12 Years ago at 7/28/10 4:57 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/28/10 4:56 AM

RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
It is really a shame that we can't (or no-one knows how) to jump between these three perspectives at will, sustaining each for as long as we want, switching whenever we would like. All of them seem to have interesting aspects, including the more basic perspective with the ego identity (which has, for example, a certain "personal story" aspect to it). Then we could have all the cakes and eat them too.
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Jeffrey S, modified 12 Years ago at 7/28/10 10:05 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/28/10 9:43 AM

RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

Posts: 21 Join Date: 6/28/10 Recent Posts
Woah. Hang on now.
I'm an Anagami by the theravadan model, I can and have achieved Niddora Samppiti at will. My understanding is that that makes me a anagami by default. (and I'm not going to go around accusing you of certain insight progress over the goddamn internet).

Second of all, in almaas' works the Absolute comes after the realization of the Essential Identity, which is described above and most likely correlates with arhatship. Almaas says he's not completely enlightened the same way the the Dalhai Lama might say he's not enlightened, out of humility. Its known that even after Arhatship that there are still the depths of Buddhahood to plunge. I take it to mean that there is still more psychological work to do. After all, Almaas, like you said, focuses on the psychological aspect, not the enlightened aspect: All the depths of Buddhahood left to plunge.

The maps aren't so easy to map out unless you are part of the tradition, especially Almaas' because, like you said, it's linear and confusing. Read up on the Essential Identity or at least what I put in the first post and see if that's something you think anyone could understand deeply before later paths, and then consider that he lists many many more stages of deeper development before coming close to the Absolute. He talks about the Absolute alot so it may seem like an early or common insight, but it's quite likely its analogous to how Daniel always talks about Arhatship when that's not such a common thing.

And I hate being so contradictory, but if you have read the Point of Existence, you would know that there being no Being (which, as you said, is "Crazy") is mentioned in states before the Absolute, specifically in the sense of Absence and Nameless, and then describes the integration of these. It also mentions the Absolute as being even greater. You can go and read up on this yourself, which I would highly encourage. It's probably been a while and one tends to attribute what one has read to their own past experience instead of understanding that it's something they have yet to really experience, (as was the case with me on my original post : P )


EDIT: In the Diamond Approach a fruition is (quite appropriately) called Extinction, and they describe it exactly how everyone around here describes it. It's a short period of time where the whole universe shuts off and comes back on. I've had some lively conversations about this with my teacher because it's one of the easiest things for me personally to understand since I'm more grounded in the the Theravada tradition, as I assume you are. They don't put much emphasis on it which is understandable since the focus is on psychology and Extinction is one of the few times where, ironically, there is no psyche.
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Jeffrey S, modified 12 Years ago at 7/28/10 10:14 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/28/10 10:07 AM

RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

Posts: 21 Join Date: 6/28/10 Recent Posts
Yeah. See, I'm starting to agree with you. Almaas probably isn't talking about AF. All the same, I can't stand when someone seemingly trashes a golden insight tradition from lack of experience.

I think I understand what you AFers have been feeling this whole time (or not feeling, as the case may be : P )
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Daniel Johnson, modified 12 Years ago at 7/29/10 1:55 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/29/10 1:55 PM

RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Jeffrey S:
Woah. Hang on now.
I'm an Anagami by the theravadan model, I can and have achieved Niddora Samppiti at will. My understanding is that that makes me a anagami by default. (and I'm not going to go around accusing you of certain insight progress over the goddamn internet).


Jeffrey, you seem to be a nice guy in that you offered help on my other thread, and you seem down to Earth, so I won't skirt around the issue... so, what's up with this response? Did it sound like I was "accusing you?" And, what difference does it make what name you give to yourself anyway? I was offering something that I thought might help given what I understood from your writing, I stated that I might be misunderstanding. You've made it very clear that I did in fact misunderstand you. So, where's the accusation? And why are you "goddamning" the internet? What did the poor internet do wrong?

Regarding the rest of your post, I think you made some really good points, and I stand corrrected at least on the fact that Almaas does mention going beyond "Being"... I forgot about that, and it re-affirms my love for Almaas. He's amazing in his thoroughness, isn't he? It's been about two years since I read TPOE, but it really is The Book which got me back on the spiritual path. I had sorta conceeded myself to a state of "no one knows what the fuck they're talking about, and there is no ultimate truth, so I'm not even gonna pay attention to those spiritual mumbo jumbo folks"... and then... I read TPOE! Wow! It was like, "Oh my god. This stuff is real. And it's possible!" wow. I broke out of the mushroom culture. I feel infinitely grateful to Almaas for breaking me out of that very long rut I was in.

Also, I now remember the Extinction too, and that may well be a fruition. But, also Almaas mentions that The Absolute is Nirvana (I think in The Pearl Beyond Price)... and he says that it can be accessible within as little as two years with his students. So, I don't know what that means.

Do you have a Diamond Heart teacher? That's awesome? Are you in the Bay Area? I've really considered joining their new DH8 group.

Anyway, I'm gonna get off the theory horse now, as I'm don't really have an interest in trying to map it all out anyway. Only in so far as it helps me in my practice now. And, I think there are others who have been doing a better job mapping it than me anyway. I apologize if I said anything in any of my posts that has offended you or your traditions. I totally respect your devotion and love for the Diamond Approach, and I say go for it, brother. Eat your heart out.

Be well,

Daniel
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Daniel Johnson, modified 12 Years ago at 7/29/10 1:59 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 7/29/10 1:59 PM

RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Jeffrey S:
I can't stand when someone seemingly trashes a golden insight tradition from lack of experience.


I'm not sure if you're referring to me or if there was someone else who said something about Diamond Heart. I hope you know that I mean them no harm and love their tradition. But, again... what's up with this response?

What is integrity if it isn't the ability to withstand a good trashing and remain intact? No harm. No loss. Nothing to lose. If someone is trashing something which may be of benefit to them, that's their own suffering that they are causing, that's their own insane behavior. Why get involved? What are you trying to defend?

Anyway, be happy, and enjoy the ride.

- Daniel
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 12 Years ago at 8/7/10 12:32 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/7/10 12:32 AM

RE: Relation of AF to Arhatship. A excript from 'The Point of Existanc

Posts: 3232 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
As to Richard, two points:

1) I am not sure that the "Richard is the first" debates help anything particularly, or at least I am not sure they do. I think it can be argued many ways. How does this help practice?

2) The "180 degrees from enlightenment" thing can be argued both ways also. In brief: that enlightenment involves cycles, insight stages, jhanas, etc. it can be argued that, as AF has none of these, that they two are completely different: my experiments while in PCE mode: no jhanic capabilities at all: attention simply acquires different widths, that is all. That said, from this vantage point, it currently seems that AF is a natural extension or further last shift from arahatship, as, once it has been pointed out, I can shift into PCE's relatively frequently and stay in something between them EE's for variously long periods of time, longest so far about 53 hours, and it seems that just as stream entry is a paradigm shift, just as anagami is a paradigm shift, and just as arahatship is a paradigm shift, this is just one more natural shift in the no-self direction, with the last self-aspect being the attention wave itself, which could also be called the last vestige of affective being and other things. That it can be achieved by some who don't even have stream entry does cloud the picture from a certain point of view, but I think we can be sophisticated enough to encompass maps that are not easily laid out in a spacial graph of some sort and that may contain multiple pathways and routes between points.

What helps is whatever helps people achieve what they wish to achieve, and I don't see either of those questions doing that directly, so I think they should get a little less attention than they currently do, though perhaps something peripherally practical will arise from these debates that is beyond what I currently expect will, and the additional material by Almas is interesting: thanks for that, though as mentioned, it doesn't map that well to either MCTB or AF necessarily, though without reading the whole thing and seeing his terminology setup and background concepts, it is hard to tell, so I have ordered the thing and will take a look at it as time permits.

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