Integration (And Teaching Too Soon)

The View From Camp

The View From Camp

RIM ROAD, AZ — #BATGAP #FourthWall #LivingIt

May 29, 2015 8:21 AM

Still in teacher-mode. Sorry…

One of the things that kept coming up in the interview was the separation from thoughts/ego-identity at awakening and then the integration of thoughts at a higher level of awareness.

Here’s how I experienced it:

  1. am my thoughts and my body.
  2. OMG! I am NOT my thoughts or roles or past or opinions! I’m separate from them! (Often called “enlightenment”)
  3. Everything appears as One Thing! I am Everything, yet I also seem to be nothing. How odd but wonderful!
  4. I want to share this. I finally know what enlightenment IS.
  5. (Started blogging as if I knew everything about enlightenment.)
  6. Hmm. Real life doesn’t fit in so well with Unity. But since I’m not my body or my thoughts, I’ll just call what my body and thoughts do, “conditioning” or “relative truth” as opposed to me as “Absolute Truth.” (Ironically, this “inner experience versus outer experience” is quite dualistic.)
  7. Damn! This “manifest” world keeps getting in the way of Absolute Truth. Worse, I’ve been blogging for years about my personal life, so I can’t stop now—I can’t hide from this conundrum. How am I going to bring the manifest and Absolute together without sounding like a hypocrite? More importantly, how am I going to bring them together so they are in harmony—so I feel at peace with them?
  8. Oh… I see. Absolute truth isn’t more true than relative truth, they are equal. Unity is true AND separation is true. They are both concepts of a much greater thing (Tao/God). I, whatever that is, experience/am (what the hell am I?) both unity and separation.

The last item, #8, is where integration happens. This is what I often call the Paradox.

Getting comfortable with #8—reintegrating with your thoughts and your body (but not identifying with them)—is the key to achieving the harmony of the inner experience of life with the outer experience of it (the “real world”).

Unfortunately, most nondual teachers start teaching way back up there at #4. This is perfectly understandable as you’ve been seeking enlightenment for so long, and once you realized it—once you’re hit with the deep insights it reveals about Reality—you feel as if you are qualified to teach about it and you want to share it. I did the same thing via the blog (#5).

It’s perfectly understandable.


But here’s a similar scenario: Imagine a guy who has tried to land a job as a radio disc jockey for 30 years. Finally he gets his break and lands his dream job. Within weeks, he starts teaching others what it is like to BE a radio disc jockey, when instead he is really only qualified to teach what it is like to find a job as a radio disc jockey.

Once you “get the job,” those 30 years of seeking don’t mean squat when it comes to what it is like to actually BEING a radio disc jockey.

My 30 years of spiritual seeking didn’t qualify me to write or teach about what enlightenment is or feels like, it qualified me to write a book about being a spiritual seeker.

The time spent between #2 through #8 should probably be called Enlightenment Internship, as this is where you learn the ropes, see the patterns, wrestle with your doubts, and struggle with the Paradox.

In other words, the Internship is when you are learning how to integrate the inner experience of awakening with the outer experience of living.

But again, it’s perfectly understandable that so many nondual teachers teach from the non-integrated phase, since most people simply aren’t aware of the next, integrated level. In my own case, I was just kind of forced/guided into integration because of my blogging/confessing/journaling habit. So please, don’t take this as a diss of them, nor that what they are teaching is untrue. They are teaching the truth as they see and experience it (what more can they do?), but it’s not “The End” of all spiritual growth. I don’t think it ever ends (ie: separate, integrate, rest, repeat).

Again, I apologize for all this dry, abstract material. There are a few more of these posts (inspired by the BATGAP interview) coming up, but then I’ll (hopefully) get back to living it and sharing it.

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One thought on “Integration (And Teaching Too Soon)

  1. For the left brained analytical, logician types, Mahavira had an insight using logic to deconstruct polarized thought/ ego-identity.

    “In the East twenty-five centuries ago we also had discovered many systems of logic, not just one; that is significant. The West knows only one system of logic, that of Aristotle. The East knows many logical systems developed by different people, very contradictory to each other but in themselves very logical. According to their own logic they are absolutely logical. According to somebody else’s logic of course they are not.

    The fact that in the East there are many systems of logic symbolizes one thing: whatever man creates is going to be a very small fraction of reality. It may represent a fraction of reality, but it cannot represent the whole reality.

    Hence Buddha … if Aristotle and Buddha had met, it would have been really something just fantastic, because Aristotle says A is always A and can never be B. But Buddha has a fourfold logic: he says A is A, A sometimes is B, A and B sometimes are both together – so much so that it is difficult to decide which is A and which is B; and sometimes A and B both are absent – still, their absence is their absence. He calls it fourfold logic. And if you look at existence you will find Buddha a better logician than Aristotle.

    In those fifty years science has come closer to fourfold logic than Aristotle’s onefold logic. Now there is non-Aristotelian logic, which is absolutely contradictory to Aristotle; still, it works. Just as Aristotle’s logic works in a certain fragmentary reality, the non-Aristotelian logic also works in the same way in some other part of reality.

    Euclid’s geometry works for one fraction of reality, non-Euclidean geometry works for another fraction of reality. But there are still more parts or reality to be discovered. Buddha had a fourfold logic, Mahavira goes a little further; he has a sevenfold logic. And it is almost impossible to think that there can be more dimensions than seven. He has managed every possibility in that sevenfold logic.

    If you ask Mahavira about God his answer will be sevenfold. Of course you will not get any answer. You wanted an Aristotelian answer, yes or no. Mahavira says yes, God is. Then, he says, wait; don’t run away with that statement, it is only the beginning. The second statement is: God is not. But don’t be in a hurry. The third statement is: God is both – is and is not; and the fourth statement is: God neither is nor is not. The fifth statement is: God is indescribable. And the sixth is: God is, and is indescribable. And the seventh is: God is not, and is indescribable.

    You cannot get anything out of it, you will think this man is crazy. If you had come confused, you will return worse. At least you were only puzzled abut two things: whether God is or God is not. Now there are seven openings. But modern science is coming very close to such openings. Physicists, digging deeper, have reached into matter they have found very strange …. They had never expected that they would find something in the deepest core of matter which would defy all their logic, all their laws. First they tried somehow to manipulate matter according to their logic – but you cannot manipulate reality.

    Finally, Albert Einstein had to say that whatever reality is, whether it goes against our laws and logic does not matter. We will have to say good-bye to our laws and logic and listen to reality. We cannot force reality to follow our laws and logic. But reality has logic and laws of its own. It is not freedom.”

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