Stages of Growth in The Awakening Process
©Copyright 1996, by Phil Servedio
Several months ago Lawrence Cook gave a wonderful
talk delineating the details of the spiritual process relative to how
Consciousness, in the context of an individual body-mind, comes to
recognize its own nature and proceeds thereafter in a continual process
of growth. It spoke to the profundity of this process and demonstrated
the uniqueness of each stage. Remembering his talk, I came to look at the
process based upon my experience, as well as others, and outlined various
stages, expressed in a simplicity that hopefully does honor to the famous
Zen "Ox Herding" Wood Block diagrams that outlined the steps of
the process in that tradition.
While this in no way is a hard and fast rule that is necessary for all
to go through, it hopefully does point to the grace like quality of one's
own inherent force of Consciousness/Naked Awareness to recognize its own
nature and the nature of all existence. The steps:
1. Total Delusion
2. Separation From Objects
- The ordinary human life as experienced by billions. Belief
in separativeness and the solidity of subject and object, and their apparent
"difference". Truly a hell-realm, full of threat, fear and sorrow.
3. Breakthrough in the Stream of Being
- Beginning of the spiritual process - consciousness begins to
stand and notice the arising of objects, but both object and subject are seen
as solid. Separation is extant. No understanding relative to nature of subject.
Spiritual state driven motivations. May be of long duration.
4. Void Stage
- Spontaneous silence in the various bodies allows natural
insight into the nature of self. The initiation of the unwinding of the impulse
of the "search", and the movement into the "rot" of both
object and subject. Hridaya shakti appears, allowing the noticing of the limits
of kundalini shakti.
5. Doubt and Enquiry
- The bottom drops out of the "self" and of all existence.
The experience of the void-like essential quality of existence appears. But the
illusion of the "I" has yet to be penetrated. The "rest"
in emptiness is accompanied by the an increase of spiritual heat throughout one's
life. The spiritual process begins to take on a life of its own. Consciousness
reveals its naked form.
6. Self-Recognition and Resolution
- Natural investigative impulse to pierce the veils of illusion
blossoms. Intuition deepens, investigatory impulse may take over one's life.
Consciousness begins to turn in on itself, searching for its own face, its own
7. Rest Time
- Summary insight arises in a single grand moment. The illusion
of a "separate self " is finally penetrated. The bubble of self pops
in the back, and one falls back into the groundless ground of one's inherent
nature, never to be fooled again. The search to find one's nature dropss like a
rock. The reference points of "I" is replaced by the reality of
non-locality. Bell's theorem is now truly blessed.
8. Rebound of "dharmas" and Transparency of the "I"
- The illusion of "I" penetrated, the void now becomes
the Void, no longer seen as an object, but the characteristic of one's own nature.
The rest in the vastness of empty clarity results in a quantum leap of insight and
9. Movie Time
- The explosion of self-recognition dies down, only to result in
the return of a sense of I. The lesson of clinging to even one's essential
Void like quality is won the hard way. One then realizes that even the "I"
sense is transparent and not an obstruction to one's clarity.
10. Completion Stage
- As self-recognition stabilizes, and doubts subside, a
movie-like, 2 dimensional perception of existence appears. The investigatory
process moves into the apparent relationship of subject and object. A thin
veil is extant that obscures a full summary insight into the nature of existence.
Dawning of the penetration of the nature of objects.
11. Integration and Intensification of the Heart
- In a single moment, the whole drama of self and other, subject
and object is penetrated. One finally comes to a complete rest! All dilemmas
dissolve! Subject-object separation disappears. One becomes the world, all of
existence. The search truly comes to an end, as the non-dual nature of existence
becomes Obvious and "louder" than the relative condition of things.
Space-time collapses. Non-dual realization is complete. How can this most
wonderful thing be?
- Process rounds around back to step one, moves into the absolute
"penetration" and "purification" of the relative. All areas
of life must bow to this most senior process and context, without a choice.
Spontaneous blessing to all arise. Movement into real help for all begins.